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Top 25 under 25: Two points on JD Greenway

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JD was the second lowest ranked player on the list, here’s why I voted for him.

CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game
BUFFALO, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: J.D. Greenway #7 of Team Plante warms up to play Team Roenick prior to the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on September 24, 2015 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York.
Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images

As we lead up to the beginning of the Top 25 rankings, a few of us are defending our choices of those players who were left off the list.

Only one of the players I ranked 20-25 made the cut:
#20: Viktor Loov
#21: Frederik Gauthier
#22: Carl Grundstrom
#23: Garret Sparks
#24: Jesper Lindgren
#25: J.D. Greenway

Today I have two points on #25 JD Greenway. Why two points? Because that’s all the points he had in the rankings, two points for two 25th place votes (birky & I). First, some background on him.

JD Greenway is a defenseman who played his draft year with the United States Teen Development Program’s Under 18 program. While with the team he put up 5 goals, 23 assists, for 28 points in 64 games, and also on the USNTDP Juniors team in the USHL, where he put up 2 goals, 8 assists for 10 points in 25 games, a four point improvement over the previous season, and he was able to cut his penalty minutes from 77 in 14/15 to just 8. He won the U17 silver in 14/15 and the U18 bronze last year.

Greenway will be heading to the University of Wisconsin this fall, and it’s expected he will report. His OHL rights are held by the Flint Firebirds (drafted 87th overall by Flint when they were the Plymouth Whalers in 2014) and I doubt he’d leave college for that mess unless their offer moved him....TO A BIGGER HOUSE.

The Maple Leafs drafted him 72nd overall in June and now PPP has voted him the 33rd best prospect for the Maple Leafs.

Point One:

He’s a very strong player who can use the four years he has in college to develop into a solid defenseman. I don’t think he’ll be a Subban, or Weber, or a top pair guy. If we can get a nice 3/4 out of him that’s super. He’s heading into university, and is listed already at 6’5" and 214lbs. I take this to mean he’s 6’1" and 200, which is still a good size to enter a league where he’ll be playing against other players three or four years his senior.

What we have is a drafted player who won’t even be a thought about SPC’s or caps, or Marlies playing time for four years, three if he turns into an absolute monster but that’s not something I would worry about.

JD Greenway has shown in the past he has the ability to adapt and grown in a situation. His first year in the USNTDP he was taking bad penalties, didn’t have much of an offensive game, but after sticking with the team, learning, and being given patience his points quadrupled, his penalty minutes shrunk to almost nothing, and his two way game has become a solid foundation to build and improve upon. Getting four years at Wisconsin, a solid place to develop as a player, the consistency there, I think can help Greenway become someone any team could rely on and not worry about.

Though he was cut from the Team USA camp this week, I don’t think we’ve seen the end of his time in the red, white, and blue.

From Jake Baskin at anotherusahockeyblog.wordpress.com:

J.D. Greenway, U.S. National Under-18 Team: I guess what I like most about the NTDP is that it’s a two-year program, and allows players who are so-called "projects" in their under-17 season to get settled for a year and then really break out in their draft season. Greenway, the younger brother of Jordan, who is also on this roster, definitely had his supporters from his very first days with The Program. His offensive game took a while to really show itself but the physical gifts were there, as well as his prowess as a puck-mover. In his second year, Greenway did indeed break out on both sides of the ice. He cut down on the time he spent in the box, further improved his defensive play, and raised his point total from 6 to 28. Perhaps the greatest individual highlight of the 2015–16 NTDP season was a shorthanded goal by Greenway during the World Under-18s, where he received a pass, deked around a Swedish defensemen, was forced to a bad angle by the goalie, and still was able to use his large frame to backhand the puck in. After much uncertainty about his immediate future, Greenway, born and raised in Potsdam, N.Y., decided in May that he would attend Wisconsin for the 2016–17 season.

Point Two:

He’s not Brendan Leipsic.