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Greenway: 'You dream about this as a kid, and it's finally here'

Rookie forward continues whirlwind season with commencement of NHL career

by Dan Myers @DanMyers / Wild.com

NASHVILLE -- Jordan Greenway's season will include a trip to Xcel Energy Center, after all. 

Of course, it wasn't exactly as Greenway may have preferred. A trip to St. Paul with Boston University for the Frozen Four and a national championship would have been the desired route to the Twin Cities.

But accomplishing a lifelong goal of reaching the NHL isn't a bad consolation prize. 

"You dream about this as a kid, and it's finally here," Greenway said shortly after arriving in the Music City on Monday evening.

Video: Jordan Greenway on next step with Wild

When MInnesota reporters last caught up with Greenway back in early November, the Wild was in Boston playing the Bruins. Then 10 games into his junior season, Greenway wasn't happy with his start to the campaign. 

At that point, he had just two goals and five assists and was trying to show what he could do ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. 

Whatever he did in the games that followed worked beautifully. Greenway tallied at least a point in 18 of BU's final 26 games the rest of season, finishing with career highs in goals (13), assists (22) and points (35) despite playing in fewer games.

"As the year went on, I continued to get better," Greenway said. "I think right after Christmas break is when I stepped up my game."

Greenway made the Olympic roster, becoming the first African-American to play on Team USA's men's ice hockey team. He scored one goal in five games in PyeongChang, playing mostly third-line minutes on a team filled with older, more experienced professionals.

"I went over to South Korea, and then came back and things just really started to get rolling for myself," Greenway said. "I don't know if it was because I was playing at a little bit of a faster pace when I was over there, but just the adrenaline and all the motivation ... I've been able to play in other international tournaments before but just the stage that tournament is on, it's unbelievable. 

"I played with a lot of great guys, who have had great careers. I learned a lot when I was over there from the coaching staff and my teammates. It was a really good time over there."

Video: Wild excited for Greenway

Greenway found the scoresheet in seven of BU's final eight games after returning from the Olympics, including three multi-point efforts.

Boston ended up just one game short of reaching the Frozen Four, losing 6-3 to Michigan on Sunday in the Northeast Region Final in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Still, it was a heck of a run for the youthful Terriers, who overcame a slow start to the season and got hot at the right time, sweeping through the Hockey East playoffs to earn one of the final spots into the NCAA Tournament. BU knocked off top-seeded Cornell in the first round, and thanks to a goal and an assist from Greenway, an alternate captain, was tied at 3 with the Wolverines early in the third period on Sunday.

Three unanswered goals by Michigan, however, put an end to BU's season and Greenway's college career. 

"It was rough, but we did a lot of good things towards the end of the season," Greenway said. "Winning Hockey East was huge, and we stayed confident throughout the whole season. Just to have it come to an end so quick, it's tough. I'm going to miss those guys. I have a lot of good memories from my time there."

Greenway jumps from the big stage in college hockey onto an even larger one in the NHL. He's expected to be in the lineup to make his debut when the Wild plays the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday. 

Despite the busy season with BU and a trip to Asia for the Olympics, Greenway said he's been keeping a close eye on the Wild with hopes that this day would come. 

He said he's ready and willing to do whatever it takes to help the Wild reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Nashville is first in the League, so I'm excited to get things started," Greenway said. "I'm just looking to do whatever I can to have an impact on the team and help the team win. That's really my focus right now."


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