The native of Brantford, Ontario Chris Gratton played Junior B in his hometown before joining the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs in 1991-92. In his rookie season with the Frontenacs Gratton captured OHL Rookie-of-the-Year honours and was a member of the OHL All-Rookie Team. A member of Canada's Gold Medal team at the 1993 World Junior Championships, Gratton was also named to the OHL's Third All-Star Team before going on to make his NHL debut.
Chosen third overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning, Gratton gradually improved over his first four seasons in the league, scoring a career high 30 goals in 1996-97. In August, 1997 he signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Flyers but only lasted a little over a season there and in December, 1998 he was traded back to the Lightning.
Prior to the trade deadline in March, 2000 he was sent to the Buffalo Sabres in a multi-player transaction. He was utilized in a number of roles and seemed to thrive at times under coach Lindy Ruff's close-checking system. Gratton began the 2001-02 season as a key two-way forward on the hard working Sabres and continued to work hard on his game until he was dealt to the Phoenix Coyotes at the trade deadline in 2003. Upon his arrival in Phoenix the former Kingston Frontenac star went on to play the remainder of the 2002-03 season with the Coyotes and the better part of the 2003-04 season, until he was traded yet again at the trading deadline to the Colorado Avalanche along with blueliner Ossi Vaananen.
Following a lock out season in 2004-05, Gratton was acquired by the Florida Panthers. As a Panther, Gratton would compete in 157 regular season games and provide veteran leadership on a relatively young Panther line-up. In the summer of 2007, the Panthers traded Gratton back to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the club which originally drafted the Brantford, Ontario native back in 1993.
Aside from his World Junior experience, Gratton has represented his homeland at the World Championships (1997-1998).