ST. PAUL — Forward Jordan Greenway
is back at Xcel Energy Center this week for the first time since March when his Boston University Terriers were knocked out of the NCAA Tournament by the University of Denver, ending his freshman season.
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound winger, who was drafted by the Wild in the second round of the 2015 NHL Draft, is participating in his second prospect camp with the club looking more comfortable with a year under his belt.
“I definitely have more confidence and have gotten the nerves out a lot quicker,” Greenway said. “I know the schedule and know what’s going on. I came here to learn a lot and so far, it’s been going great.”
A native of Canton, N.Y., Greenway has spent his offseason on campus at BU, prepping physically for his sophomore season while also taking classes in the College of General Studies.
“For the most part, I’ve been working on trying to get the puck more to the net and using my body as an asset,” Greenway said. “That’s pretty much my game. Whenever I come in here, I like to ask the coaches and the older guys what I need to do [to do that better].”
Acknowledging that is half the battle, according to the Wild's Director of Player Development Brad Bombardir. Often, younger players come in hesitant to do the one thing they should be able to do best: Use their frame.
It’s especially tough for some like Greenway, who have the size, but also have elite hands and a scoring touch. Putting all of those ingredients together is one of the goals of this camps.
“I’m just incredibly excited, I think we all are, for the type of player he has become in one year and with the player he may become,” Bombardir said. “The best thing about Jordan is that he knows what type of player he needs to be. How is going to play at the next level? How is that game now translate to what it’s going to translate to in the NHL?”
Bombardir credits the job of BU coach David Quinn and his staff for the job they did in Greenway’s first year of development and said the situation for him with the Terriers is one that should continue to produce results.
“David Quinn is an outstanding coach and he loves Jordan. He really feels that he’s going to be a great player for us, as do I, and as do all of us in the organization,” Bombardir said. “They style of play that BU plays is an NHL style and you can exactly see where he’s going to fit in that and where he fits there and where he fits into the system here.
“And he’s accepted that, ‘This is the type of player I’m going to have to be, and I’m willing to be.’ And he is. He’s a net-front, offensive juggernaut on the wall where he can get pucks and it’s hard for guys to get the puck off him.”
With that in mind, perhaps the most beneficial time Greenway has spent during his week with Wild coaches was on Tuesday, when he and other forwards had a film session with Wild Assistant Coach Darby Hendrickson and Hockey Operations Assistant Andrew Brunette.
During the session, Hendrickson and Brunette showed clips on how to play in front of the net, along the walls and positioning on top of the crease.
“That’s the only reason I’ve had the success that I’ve had,” Greenway said. “It’s kind of hard to stop someone who is as big as I am. Definitely, those things that we’ve been doing and puck protection, it contributes a lot to my game.”
It helps that the lesson comes from guys like Hendrickson and Brunette, who each carved out long careers in the NHL excelling in doing the little things close to the net.
“Darby does an excellent job of teaching that kind of stuff and Andrew Brunette played over 1,000 games,” Bombardir said. “That was his game. The rink is 200 feet long and 15 feet of ice was where he operated from behind the net to the front of the net.”
“If he did it, he’s here and can show me how to do it,” Greenway said. “He must know what he’s talking about.”