J.D. Greenway, a man-child of a defenseman, was grabbed by the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday with the third round with the 72nd overall pick in the 2016 National Hockey League Draft.
International Scouting Services listed the 6-foot-4, 204-pound 18-year-old as the tenth-best available defenseman in the draft, calling him a quality package of size, speed, athleticism.
“He can play a finesse game despite his large from and he can play a physical game as well,” wrote ISS scout Phil Myre, a former NHL goalie. “Putting it all together consistently has been his biggest challenge. If he ever does, he’ll be a top player.”
SBNation’s college hockey site said Greenway “can be a punishing physical force to opponents, especially along the boards.”
“He’d going to get under the skin of the opposition an make life difficult for them,” SBNation reported. “He also has the ability to step up and make a big hit if he catches an opponent not looking in the neutral zone.”
A member of the USA Hockey National Team Development ProgramUnder-18 squad that competes against United States Hockey League, collegiate, and international teams, Greenway scored 5 goals and 23 assists in 64 games.
The Potsdam, N.Y., native is continuing a family draft tradition. His brother, Boston University left wing Jordan Greenway, was chosen by the Minnesota Wild last year in the second round with the 50th overall pick.
Like his brother, J.D. is going the NCAA Division I route before turning pro. He’s committed to play for the University of Wisconsin.
Still, the Greenway brothers could end up as teammates this year. Both are among 42 players invited to USA Hockey’s National Junior Evaluation Camp July 30-Aug. 7 in Plymouth, Michigan.
The players are auditioning for spots on the 2017 U.S. team that will compete in the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship tournament in Helsinki this winter.