By Ashley Degraaf
Ladysmith native Matt Grant hasn’t made his mind up if he’ll continue this season with the Caps or head to Everett to join the Western Hockey League’s Silvertips.
The Caps forward found out on Oct. 3, he could pack his bags to Everett, after they acquired his rights from the Moose Jaw Warriors for third-round WHL draft picks in 2012 and 2013.
Grant, 17, played 58 games for the Warriors as a WHL rookie last year.
The 6-3, 190-lb Cowichan kid made a personal decision to play this season with the Junior-A Caps, already contributing two goals and two assists in just five games.
“It’s going to be a huge loss if we do lose him but that’s going to be a decision that he’s going to have to make,” associate coach and GM Jim Ingram said Monday.
By Tuesday, Grant still hadn’t wrapped his head around the choice.
“I’m still just trying to figure out what I’m going to do right now,” Grant said, adding he only has a couple days to make his mind up.
Ingram indicated the Caps, if Grant goes, would be faced with another shuffle in its lineup.
“Michael Jung has been skating with us from Regina. He’s still hoping to catch on with a Western league team and hasn’t yet and so he’s going to just keep skating with us and make a decision within the next few days as well,” he said, noting Jung could essentially replace Grant if it came down to it.
The Caps have been counting on Grant to put up some good offensive numbers.
“He’s a big kid with a lot of skill,” Ingram had said.
“He’s got long legs, long arms, skates well for a big kid, handles the puck very well.
“He’s still going to have to work very hard at developing his game. You’ve got lots to learn at every level.”
Grant is the younger brother of Jordan Grant, who last year climbed the scoring charts to land second overall in the entire BCHL.
Ingram said it is too soon to be drawing comparisons between the brothers.
Ingram coached Jordan, too, when he had his Island coaching job with Kerry Park.
“Jordan was a pure goal scorer. He had a great shot, good nose for the net. I think Matt has a lot of those qualities, but to say that he’s Jordan, it’s a little premature to say that.”
Matt and Jordan’s mom, Debbie, said the two boys have always been crazy about hockey.
“For him to go away last year to play in the WHL at 16 was huge,” Debbie said before hearing the news of her son’s trade deal.
— with files from Matthew Peterson