Blog Post

Wild Add Former Second-Round Pick Greenway on Three-Year Deal

By Dane Mizutani and John Shipley - Pioneer Press 

The Wild are in the middle of a frenetic race for a Western Conference playoff spot rarely seen this late in an NHL season, holding on to third place in their division but with four teams within four points on their tails.

General manager Chuck Fletcher and coach Bruce Boudreau think Jordan Greenway can help.

Less than 24 hours after his Boston University team was bounced from the NCAA tournament, Greenway agreed to join the Wild on a three-year, entry-level contract and appears set to make his NHL debut in a big game Tuesday night in Nashville.

“It’s a pretty big jump from college to NHL,” Boudreau said. “Some people can do it right away, some can’t. We’re going to give him the opportunity. The funny thing is, he’s coming into a pretty good pennant race.”

The Wild are hoping Greenway, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound junior at BU with an international resume that includes the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, can give the team the size and grit needed to secure a playoff spot and advance in the postseason.

“He goes to the front of the net and he stays there,” Boudreau said. “That’s something maybe we lack a little bit.”

While earning three points in weekend games against Nashville and Boston, the Wild got big goals in the crease from big forwards Joel Eriksson Ek, Nino Niederreiter and Mikko Koivu, the latter of which tied an overtime loss to the Bruins in the third period.

The Wild are hoping Greenway can bring some of that grit in the offensive zone, even if he doesn’t put the puck in the net. “He’s strong on the wall, he’s strong on pucks down low and he has the ability to contribute in a lot of ways even if he’s not producing offensively,” Fletcher said. “He’s ahead of the game that way.”

Greenway has been a blue-chip prospect in the farm system since the Wild selected him with their second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

“There shouldn’t be a player that can defend against him,” Wild director of player development Brad Bombardir said last offseason. “If he’s on his game, and he’s willing to play the game the right way, the way that he needs to play it, there shouldn’t be many guys (who can).”

Boudreau wasn’t sure where Greenway will play on Tuesday but suggested it will be somewhere on the third or fourth line. He also said he’s willing to see if the forward/center can help on the Wild’s power play, which has slipped to 17th in the NHL with a 20-percent conversion rate.

“It’s definitely something I’m thinking of,” Boudreau said.

Greenway had 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists) in 36 games at BU this season, helping the program claim the 2018 Hockey East Tournament Championship and advance to the NCAA Northeast Regional final. He finished his career with 92 points (28 goals, 64 assists) in 112 games.

Boston’s Ryan Donato, Boudreau noted, has two goals and two assists since leaving Harvard on March 17. “So, it’s a doable thing, and hopefully (Greenway) will give us some life.”

“I don’t think he’s going to play 22 minutes a night,” Boudreau added, “but he’s one of the reasons, I think, there wasn’t a lot of moves made on trade deadline day, because we figured he’d be a really good addition at this point of the year.”

To make room for Greenway on the roster, the Wild reassigned winger Zack Mitchell to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League.

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