When the Minnesota Wild selected Boston University product Jordan Greenway 50th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, they banked on getting a big body (6’5″, 229 lbs) that could provide some scoring ability as a net-front presence.
From LWOH’s own Ben Kerr for Top Shelf Prospects in 2015:
“He makes great use of his 6’5″ frame by playing a physical and gritty game in the offensive zone. He creates offense for teammates by winning battles in the corners, forechecking hard, and creating havoc in front of the net. He has a very hard and accurate wrist shot.”
He had excelled in the US National Team Development Program in his draft year, scoring nine goals and 44 points in 53 games for the U-18 squad after bagging 16 markers and 41 points in 52 contests for the U-17 team the previous year.
His performance on the National Team gave him the opportunity to represent his country in the Under-18 World Junior Championships, where he continued to pile up points scoring a goal and adding six helpers in seven games helping the States win gold, just like he did in the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge the previous season scoring three goals in six games. However, there was some criticism on him not finishing on chances in front of the net with the size of his frame and the advantage that came with it.
In the theme of continuing to get better, this year has been nothing new for the soon-to-be 20-year old Canton, New York native. His development accelerated as he committed to the Terriers in 2015 continued, as weekend games allowed him to grow stronger and finish more on chances in front of the net. He scored five goals and 26 points for them as a freshman in 36 contests, and a sophomore surge in 2016-17 has him already at six goals and 16 points in just 16 games played.
Given his development, it should surprise no one that Greenway is having the success that he is having at the 2017 edition of the World Junior Championship. Greenway has scored three goals and six points in five games, including the last two markers being game winners.
This may seem like an official coming out party since it is the top age level of the tournament with NHL hopefuls and draftees suiting up for each team. But with two gold medals in his back pocket, the model of consistency has allowed Greenway to have success at all levels. Throughout the tournament he has been able to show off the qualities that made him so attractive to the Wild as seen on the two goals above.
“For the most part, being bigger, I have to dominate down low, bring pucks to the net and create space for my linemates. That’s been my goal at B.U. and throughout this tournament and I’m gonna keep doing it. I don’t let my emotions get too high or low, but I play a big, mean game. It will definitely help me at the next level. I might have to get a bit meaner, I don’t know yet. I’ll figure it out when the time comes.”
He’s been able to dig the puck out of the corner to create chances before heading to the front of the net, use his body to steal and protect the puck to set up a play at the goal, and he’s answered the critique of him not being able to finish on close chances with his stick at the goal mouth. He’s been a valuable asset in all situations as well, using a defensive stick on the penalty kill in addition to his net front ability in setting up crash plays. His presence alone makes a difference in that regard, as he dug the puck out of the corner moments before this goal:
As the States continue in their quest for a gold, one can assume that Greenway will play a big factor in whether that dream is realized or not. His experience and development speak for itself, and this year’s tournament has really solidified him among the best chosen in the second round, with many claiming he could be a late first round pick in a redraft.
Chances are, however, the NHL is the last thing on his mind at the moment as he tries to aid the United States to victory over Russia for another chance at a gold medal tonight, following the model of consistency that has gotten him this far.
Quote courtesy of The Hockey News.