The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, announced the signing of forward Josh Gratton Saturday. A former NHL forward with the Philadelphia Flyers and Phoenix Coyotes, Gratton comes to South Carolina with 86 games of experience at the highest level."Josh is a consummate pro that will be a welcomed presence to our lineup,” said Stingrays Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Spiros Anastas. “He’s played in the best leagues in the world and is known as a great teammate. You don’t play as long as he has by being any other way. He’s a player who can bring a lot of energy, physicality and a hard offensive zone presence.”
“We’re excited to add his experience and leadership after the break. He fills our last veteran spot and will be a great help in the development of our young team.”
Gratton had six points on three goals and three assists in his 86 NHL games along with a combined 294 penalty minutes. He suited up for 64 games with Phoenix from 2005-08 as well as 22 contests for Philadelphia 2005-06, 2008-09.
He also has 280 games of experience at the AHL level, scoring 86 points on 41 goals and 45 assists with seven different teams. A native of Brantford, Ont., Gratton won two Calder Cup Championships in the AHL with the Philadelphia Phantoms in 2004-05 and also during his most recent AHL stint with the Manchester Monarchs in 2014-15.
Gratton is currently in his 16th professional season, beginning the 2018-19 year overseas with the Glasgow Clan in the EIHL (Elite Ice Hockey League) where he scored 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in 23 games. Gratton’s previous experience overseas saw him play in various leagues including 81 games in the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) with Vityaz Chekhov and Barys Astana where he totaled 20 points on nine goals and 11 assists along with 385 penalty minutes. In 2017-18, Gratton suited up for 22 games with Epinal in France, and played three games with HC Nove Zamky in Slovakia.
A 6-foot-2, 216-pound attacker who shoots left-handed, Gratton played 166 games of junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) from 2000-03 with the Sudbury Wolves, Kingston Frontenacs and Windsor Spitfires before turning pro.
Gratton’s only previous ECHL experience came in 2003-04 when he appeared in 30 games for the San Diego Gulls and scored 10 points on four goals and six assists, as well as in 2004-05 with one game played for the Trenton Devils.
The veteran will join South Carolina next week before the team hosts Norfolk on Friday in North Charleston and will wear jersey No. 44.
South Carolina finishes up their week on the road with one final game in Greenville against the Swamp Rabbits on Saturday night at 7 p.m. The Stingrays are back at home to take on Norfolk for ‘What You Didn’t Get For Christmas Night’ on Friday at 7:05!