Ontario Hockey League grad Josh Gratton is taking his tough style of hockey to Epinal, France to play for his brother Brad for the 2017-18 Ligue Magnus season. After playing 2016-17 in the Czech Republic’s tier 2 league with HC Kladno, Gratton joins a handful of OHL alumni with Epinal.
Josh Gratton played three years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2000-01 to 2002-03. He started his career in Sudbury, Ontario with the Wolves before moving on to the Kingston Frontenacs and Windsor Spitfires. Over his three years, Gratton scored 50 goals and assisted on 61 for 111 points over 166 regular season games. He also sat 489 penalty minutes during that time. In the playoffs, Josh added six points in 16 games.
Proving he could score as well as fight, Gratton notched 26 goals in 2002-03 between the Frontenacs and Spitfires. He also finished tenth in the OHL that year with 192 PIM. The year before, his 187 minutes in penalties placed him tied for ninth with Zack Stortini of the Sudbury Wolves and Nick Policelli of the Kitchener Rangers.
Gratton has played pro hockey since 2003-04 in the ECHL, AHL, NHL, KHL, Denmark’s Metal Ligaen, Finland’s SM-Liiga and the Czech tier 2 league. Josh’s time in the National Hockey League consists of 86 games between 2005-06 and 2008-09 with the Philadelphia Flyers and Phoenix Coyotes.
In the American Hockey League, Josh was part of two Calder Cup champions. His first was with the Philadelphia Phantoms in 2004-05 and he played sparingly in 2014-15 with the Manchester Monarchs.
In 2010-11, the ugly side of Gratton came out. Playing for Vityaz Chekhov, the joke of the KHL, Josh sat 170 penalty minutes in just 24 games. That was good for second in the KHL, 12 PIM behind teammate Darcy Verot.
This past season, 2016-17, Josh played 14 regular season and eleven playoff games for HC Kladno. He is signed with Epinal for the 2017-18 season.
GamYo d’Epinal was last promoted to the elite Ligue Magnus for the 2003-04 season. The team has qualified for the post season each year since 2004-05 and went as far as the finals in 2014-15. This past season, they finished eighth in the 12 team league, losing in the opening round of the playoffs.
The team is coached by Brad Gratton. Gratton played four years in the OHL from 1986-87 to 1989-90 with the Hamilton Steelhawks, Kingston Canadians, Belleville Bulls, Kingston Raiders, Windsor Spitfires, London Knights and the Dukes of Hamilton.
Gratton has assembled a team heavy with OHL grads (by Ligue Magnus standards). Josh Gratton joins fellow OHL alumni Matt Carter, Ryan McDonough and Stephen Silas. Carter played three years in the OHL from 2005-06 to 2007-08 with the Owen Sound Attack. McDonough played four years with the Sudbury Wolves and Saginaw Spirit. Silas played five years with the Belleville Bulls from 2008-09 to 2012-13.
Epinal is a city located in the northeast part of France, 400 kilometres east of Paris. Fairly close to the borders with Germany and Switzerland, Epinal is 426 kilometres south of Cologne, Germany. The population is less than 40,000.
Josh Gratton OHL Stats