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Predators Acquire Forward Triston Grant & '09 Seventh Round Pick from Philadelphia

by Press Release / Nashville Predators
The Scoop on the Tristan Grant Trade
In acquiring Triston Grant from Philadelphia, the Predators used an area of depth to address an area of need. Grant is a physical forward who does a lot of the little things to help open space on the ice for his line mates.

“He’s an aggressive type of player,” Predators Assistant General Manager Paul Fenton described. “He’s the type of player that is currently playing on a lot of third and fourth lines around the NHL. Triston skates well; can kill penalties and take regular shifts. He’s very aggressive on the ice; keeps everyone else accountable on the ice. As we put together our team we look for players with skills to complement the organization. Triston brings some of that. He makes our organization harder to play against.”

Grant is noted as being a good teammate, including earning the 2004-05 Inspirational Leader Award from the Vancouver Giants, his Junior club in the Western Hockey League.

Further, the move helps shape the Predators logjam of young defensemen in the system. At 26 – turning 27 before training camp opens – time is running short on Janne Niskala to show his wares in the NHL. The Preds already have six NHL defensemen under contract for ’08-09 and restricted free agents Kevin Klein and Ville Koistinen both spent the entire ’07-08 campaign with the big club. Plus Cody Franson (20), and Alex Sulzer (24) completed a valuable season of learning in the AHL and both appear close to warranting a shot at NHL ice time.

Add Jon Blum (19), Teemu Laakso (20), and newly drafted Roman Josi (18) further down the pipeline and Niskala was not only facing long odds to make the NHL club in Nashville, but the very real possibility of being passed on the depth chart by hot-shot prospects rising through the system, so the trade affords him a clearer path to the NHL with the Flyers, while Grant provides an aggressive energy element the Preds organization was seeking.
-- Preds send defenseman
Janne Niskala to the Flyers --

Nashville, Tenn. (June 24, 2008) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has acquired forward Triston Grant and a seventh-round selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Janne Niskala.

Grant, 24 (2/2/84), has played 197 American Hockey League games with the Philadelphia Phantoms over the past three seasons, notching 37 points (17g-20a) and 570 penalty minutes in addition to logging eight NHL contests with the Flyers in 2006-07. Originally selected by Philadelphia in the ninth round (286th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, the 6-2, 213-pound left wing totaled AHL career highs in goals (10), assists (11) and points (21) in 2007-08.

The Predators now have 12 selections in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft next summer in Montreal, including two third-round selections, three fourth-round selections, two fifth-round selections and two seventh-round selections.

Niskala, 26 (9/22/81), led Milwaukee defensemen and ranked second among AHL blueliners in goals (19) in his first season in North America in 2007-08. The Vasteras, Sweden native, signed as a free agent by Nashville on June 1, 2007, also led the Admirals and ranked 10th in the league in defensemen scoring (44) this past season. He earned a bronze medal with Finland at the 2008 World Championships in Quebec City/Halifax, leading Finnish blueliners in points (4) and goals (2) at the tournament.

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