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USNTDP's Greenway using size to his advantage

by Mike G. Morreale

Jordan Greenway pulls no punches when it comes to discussing the presence he provides whenever he steps on the ice.

Big, physical, and at times ornery.

"I'm 6-foot-5 so I guess I'm a power forward, right," Greenway said. "I've got some pretty good skill and I like to drive the net a lot, can usually come out of the corners with the puck and can create more space for the skilled guys on the team."

He's a big fan of New York Rangers forward Rick Nash. The 222-pound left wing appreciates players who fight for pucks along the wall and go to the net hard; it's what has given him the attention he deserves as a top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft.

Greenway, an A-rated prospect on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for the draft, has one goal, nine points and 20 penalty minutes in 13 games for the United States National Team Development Program Under-18 team.

James Greenway follows brother's path

Defenseman James Greenway, who plays for the United States National Team Developmet Program Under-17 team, hopes to follow a similar path taken by his brother, Jordan Greenway, but at a different position.

Jordan Greenway, an A-rated forward on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list, is a potential first-round pick for the 2015 NHL Draft. Jordan, who will attend Boston University in 2015-16, is a top forward on the USNTDP U-18 team.

James, who has two assists and 24 penalty minutes in 11 games for the USNTDP U-17 team, is a 6-foot-4, 204-pound left-shot defenseman eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft. He has the same tenacity and aggressiveness of his older brother.

He joined the NTDP after spending last season at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, where he had six goals, 23 points and 88 penalty minutes in 51 games. He also played for the United States at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sarnia, Ontario.

"Having him at the NTDP with me is great; we grew up together, both went to Shattuck-St. Mary's Prep and are now in Michigan with the NTDP," Jordan Greenway said. "I'm a role model to him … kind of. It's great to be looked at in that position. He's been doing well for the NTDP and I have high expectations for him. I think he'll meet them too."

-- Mike G. Morreale

"He doesn't have any idea how big, strong and athletic he is," USNTDP U-18 coach Don Granato said. "It'll be a process for him but that's what you drool over. He's got athletic ability, size and strength, and his potential is really high."

Fellow top American-born draft prospect and Boston University freshman Jack Eichel was happy to have Greenway as a linemate at the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in September. In the third period Greenway was in his element in the right-wing corner, digging for a loose puck before spotting Eichel in the slot.

"He did all the work and I came into the high slot and saw the puck squirt out and he made a great play on the wall and got the puck to me," said Eichel, a potential top-two pick at the 2015 draft.

Greenway, who will attend Boston University in 2015-16, was happy to aid his possible future teammate.

"We went in and [Eichel] called for the puck in the slot and I gave it to him and he buried it," Greenway said. "He always wants the puck and he's a great player, so why not give it to him. It was great playing with him and I hope I can do it again in the future."

Greenway grew up in Potsdam, N.Y., but traveled to Faribault, Minn., to play for the Shattuck-St. Mary's Sabres Tier 1 bantam team when he was 13 years old. It was there he developed his game and continued his rapid growth spurt.

"I've always been the biggest kid in school; I think the spurt started in the fourth or fifth grade," Greenway said. "It kept going too.

"My size definitely helps out a lot because you don't find many 6-5 guys, but everyone gets bigger and stronger as they get older so it becomes harder. But once you figure out how to use your size I think it helps."

Greenway worked his way up the hockey ladder playing above his age bracket, but he ultimately decided playing with and against players his own age would be more beneficial. He got that opportunity at Shattuck-St. Mary's in 2010-11. Greenway had 12 goals and 58 points in his first season with the bantam team and more than doubled that the next season with 52 goals and 126 points in 60 games.

That caught the attention of many college and junior hockey scouts.

"When he's skating, working, checking and utilizing his physical assets, he's a hard player to check," Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr said. "If he continues on this path, he'll climb in the draft ratings."

Promoted to Shattuck's under-16 midget team for 2012-13, he led the Sabres with 62 points (23 goals, 39 assists) in 46 games. He was selected No. 16 by the Plymouth Whalers in the 2013 Ontario Hockey League draft but always had visions of playing college hockey. He made public his desire to continue his career at Boston University in December 2013.

"I went to Shattuck, so I wanted to come home for a little bit on the East Coast and BU has some great facilities and I like the city," Greenway said. "I watched BU a lot and [coach] David Quinn is very respected."

Greenway had 15 goals, 41 points and 116 penalty minutes in 52 games for the USNTDP U-17 team last season.

"He's been pegged as an A candidate, and as I've told him he can't be playing any B-rated games," Marr said. "The knock on him is that he has the A-rated talent but at times plays like a B player, and he can't do that. He needs to consistently bring that A game to the table and he's done that this year."

Marr said Greenway needs to take advantage of his physical attributes and exhibit good puck protection and good cycling while being hard to check and winning 1-on-1 battles.

"He needs to play that game," Marr said. "It's not that he's shy to get involved, but as soon as he treats hockey like it's going to be his job, his occupation, then the sky could be the limit for him."


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