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June 24, 2013

Ducks Acquire Defenseman Alex Grant

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks, NHL parent club of the Norfolk Admirals, have acquired defenseman Alex Grant from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for left wing Harry Zolnierczyk (ZOHL-nehr-chuhk).

Grant, a 6-foot-3, 202-pound defenseman, appeared in 46 regular season games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League (AHL) last season, posting four goals and 20 points with 73 penalty minutes and a minus-7 rating. Grant paced team defensemen in points-per-game (.43) while 12 of his 20 points on the season came via the power play (2g, 10a). He then added two goals and four points with 27 penalty minutes in 13 Calder Cup Playoff games as the Penguins advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.

A 24-year-old native of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Grant has appeared in 125 career AHL games – all with the Penguins – netting 17 goals and 62 points with 174 penalty minutes and a plus-8 rating. He has also scored four goals and 11 points with 40 penalty minutes in 27 career Calder Cup Playoff games with the Penguins. In 2011-12, Grant set AHL career highs with 10 goals, 27 assists and 37 points in 61 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He was also third among all AHL rookies and fourth among all AHL defensemen with 27 power play points (7g, 20a) in 2011-12.

Grant, who will enter his fifth professional season in 2013-14, has also played in 54 career ECHL regular season games with the Wheeling Nailers, collecting 10 goals and 32 points with 42 penalty minutes and a plus-2 rating. He also had two goals and 13 penalty minutes in 17 career Kelly Cup Playoff games.

Pittsburgh selected Grant in the fourth round (118th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He played four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Shawinigan Cataractes, posting 44 goals and 143 points with 324 penalty minutes in 245 career games.

Zolnierczyk, 5-foot-11, 180-pounds, appeared in nine games for the Admirals last season, posting two goals and 14 penalty minutes with a minus-6 rating. He was acquired by the Ducks from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Jay Rosehill on Apr. 1, 2013. Zolnierczyk also appeared in seven games for the Flyers last season, collecting one assist with 36 penalty minutes. He began the 2012-13 season with the AHL's Adirondack Phantoms, earning nine goals and 17 points with 54 penalty minutes in 52 games.

Signed by the Flyers as a free agent on Mar. 8, 2011, Zolnierczyk has scored three goals and seven points with 71 penalty minutes in 44 career NHL games. He has also appeared in 116 career AHL games between the Admirals and Phantoms, posting 22 goals and 45 points with 142 penalty minutes.

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