It's not where you start, it's where you finish. Just ask South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Grant Farrell.

Farrell, 26, signed with the Stingrays on Friday for the upcoming 2010-11 season. He came to the Stingrays' preseason camp a year ago, but could not secure a spot on the roster.

"We were just loaded on the blue line at the start of last season," said Stingrays coach Cail MacLean. "Grant had a very good camp, but we didn't have a spot for him."

Instead of pouting, the Calgary, Alberta, native began his rookie campaign with the Knoxville Ice Bears of the Southern Professional Hockey League -- appearing in 15 games earning six points (2g, 4a).

"A lot of guys might have gone home and not pursued it," MacLean said. "That's what I liked about Grant, he stuck with it."

As injuries and call-ups began to take their toll on the Stingrays blue line, MacLean called up Farrell from Knoxville.

Farrell played in 42 games for the Stingrays last season, scoring two goals and adding 17 assists for 19 points.

"I thought Grant was going to be a short-term solution, but he really took advantage of the opportunity when he got here," MacLean said. "He really improved as the year went on, and we came to rely on him heavily. He played in every situation, even strength, power play, penalty kill. He has a lot of intangibles that I really like in a player."

Prior to turning pro, the 6-1, 180 pound defenseman played two seasons at Merrimack College, where he was a three-time Hockey East Top Scholar Athlete Farrell scored two goals and added 14 assists for 16 points in 58 games.

Farrell spent his freshman and sophomore years at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, scoring 12 points (4g, 8a) in 37 games.