Given that the Wild is pressed up hard (as usual) against the salary cap and has used a lot of future draft pick equity on previous deals, Minnesota hardly seems in position to add any major pieces to its roster before the Feb. 26 trade deadline for the closing stretch of the year and potentially the playoffs.
But what if I told you the Wild could potentially add a 6-6 forward who can make plays, score and impact all zones with his physical nature? And what if I told you that while the Wild couldn’t have him by the end of February, it could happen just a few weeks later — in time, say, for the final 10 or so regular season games and the postseason? And it would all fit easily under the salary cap?
Sign me up, you’re saying.
Jordan Greenway will have the final say on signing, but he could be just what the Wild needs at just the right time if things break in Minnesota’s favor.
Greenway, the Wild’s second-round pick in 2015, is a little busy in the Olympics right now. He turns 21 on Friday and has already made history as the first black U.S. men’s hockey player in the Winter Games.
When the Olympics are over, Greenway figures to return to Boston University to finish his junior season — one in which he has 25 points through 28 games after tallying 31 in 37 games a season ago. After that, it’s likely he will make the leap to the pros and join the Wild. In what capacity remains to be seen, but the timing could work in Minnesota’s favor.
In some years, waiting for a Boston University player to finish a season and make the leap to the NHL could stretch into April and the conclusion of the Frozen Four. BU has made the NCAA tournament the past three seasons and went to the Frozen Four in 2015.
This year, though, the Terriers are just 19th in the PairWise rankings, which mimic the criteria used to select the 16-team field. Unless Boston University makes a late-season run, its season could be officially over on March 18 when the NCAA field is announced.
That’s significant since the Wild’s regular season ends April 7 — the same date as the NCAA title game at Xcel Energy Center — and the NHL playoffs start April 11.
It’s hard to know exactly what plans the Wild might have for Greenway, but there would appear to be room for him in a top-nine forward role. If you’re having a hard time remembering a Wild newcomer being added late in the year — either from college or the minors — and making a major impact, that’s because I’m not sure it ever has happened.
Maybe this year is different, and maybe Greenway is that guy?