Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Markus Granlund Autograph Card

When the NHL season got underway, I traded for this card of Markus Granlund so I could check off #60 from my Flames Numbers Project:
It's card #YM-18 from Upper Deck's 2015-16 Contours set and Youth Movement sub-set - numbered 154/399 - showing him wearing the Calgary Flames' white (away) uniform and featuring a blue-sharpied on-sticker autograph.

The Nashville Predators' Mikael Granlund's younger brother, Markus started his career like many second-rounders do (45th overall, 2011), remaining in Europe to develop for a couple of extra seasons, then coming to North America and signing a three-year entry-level deal, alternating between the AHL and NHL in his first season, at some point leading AHL rookies in points, earning his first point in his third NHL game, scoring his first NHL goal in his fifth game. He finished the 2013-14 with 25 goals and 21 assists (46 points) in 52 AHL games, and 3 points in 7 NHL games.

2014-15 was spread out a little more evenly, and he collected 17 points in 21 games with the AHL's Adirondack Flames, and 18 points (8 goals) in 48 games with teh Flames; 2015-16 confirmed he was among the AHL elite (9 points in 12 games with the Stockton Heat) but after collecting just 7 poiits in 31 games at the NHL level, the Flames traded him to the Vancouver Canucks for Hunter Shinkaruk, a former firs-round pick (24th overall in 2013), where his 3 points in 16 games to close out the eyar were nothing to write home about.

He had his best season in 2016-17, scoring 19 goals and amassing 13 assists for 32 points in 69 games, displaying the sort of skills and understanding of the game that had him looking like an eventual solid second-liner, but he slipped to 12 points in 53 games in 2017-18 and 22 points in 77 games last year, falling out of favour in Vancouver.

He signed a one-year deal near the league minimum with the Edmonton Oilers last summer, and his points totals have all but dried up, playing part-time minutes on the fourth line, but he seems aware that he's there to help the penalty-kill first and foremost while the likes of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and James Neal take care of the offence.

Who knows where his career will lead him from here, but he's almost half-way in playing for every Canadian team from West to East, so a good bet would be the Winnipeg Jets next, followed by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators and Montréal Canadiens.

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