After already making his decision to return to Boston University for his junior year, Jordan Greenway hasn’t been pressured … or begged by General Manager Chuck Fletcher to change his mind and turn pro.
No threat of kidnapping him and not letting him leave town, either.
“I haven’t seen Chuck yet since I’ve been here,” the Wild prospect said, laughing, Monday. “He’s a strong guy, but …”
Greenway was too polite to finish the sentence, but yeah, Fletcher would have no chance against the 6-foot-6 winger the Wild hopes one day dominates the blue paint, so to speak.
Despite the temptation of signing a three-year, multi-million dollar deal, Greenway has opted to return to college. He hopes to lead the Terriers to big things next season and admits “lingering in my mind” is getting the call from Team USA to wear red, white and blue in the Winter Olympics in South Korea now that NHLers won’t partake.
Greenway, 20, has won three gold medals in international tournaments, including the most recent world junior championships where he scored eight points in seven games.
How tough was it to turn down the lure of turning pro next season, especially since he’d have a shot at cracking the lineup out of camp or at some point next season?
“Of course, it’s my dream to play here one day professional hockey,” Greenway said. “But I really want to come here and have an impact, and for me going back to school one more year is really going to allow me to do that. We had a lot of good players sign this year [at BU]. It’s my turn to really step up here, lead the team and have an even bigger impact than I’ve had in the past. I’m looking forward to it and it’s something I’m ready to really take on.
“I still want to do more things at BU. I haven’t had a lot of success there when it comes to winning championships. We’ve been in the tournament both my freshman and sophomore year, [but we] still haven’t been to the Frozen Four, haven’t won a Beanpot.”
Greenway followed a 20-point freshman year at BU with 10 goals and 31 points in 37 games last season. He’s expected to turn pro after his junior year, although if he fulfills his dream of going to the Frozen Four, he wouldn’t get any regular-season games for the Wild. The Frozen Four at Xcel Energy Center is April 5 and 7, coincidentally the final two games of the Wild’s regular-season slate.
The Wild owns Greenway’s rights until June 1, 2019. There’s no threat of him trying to become a free agent, he vows, as does his advisor.
“No, no, I’m happy here at Minnesota, I’ve pretty much grown up here, I went to Shattuck for awhile, I love the state, I love the city here, everything about this place,” Greenway said. “I honestly don’t have any intentions about becoming a free agent. Like I said, I just really want to go back [to BU this year], have a really good year and be confident about coming in next year.”
Greenay’s hair, by the way, is dyed blond like the New York Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr.
“Just a summer thing,” he said, laughing. “I don’t think [BU] coach [David] Quinn would let me rock this during the year.”
Greenway and the rest of the prospects can be seen in the first of two scrimmages this week Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center. It’s free and open to the public. There will be another scrimmage Thursday at 5 p.m. followed by a Wild Block Party in the Seven Corners parking lot across from the arena.
Also, Kurtis Gabriel and Steve Michalek accepted their one-year, two-way qualifying offers that’ll pay them $715,000 when in the NHL, $70,000 when in the minors.
By the way, I’m filling in for Paul Allen on KFAN from 9-noon Tuesday. Guests include Wild coach Bruce Boudreau, Lavelle E. Neal III, Paul Fletcher, Mark Parrish and actor/comedian Erik Stolhanske.
There’s also one more special Wild guest coming on.