(Editor’s Note: This is the eighth installment in Chicago Hockey Now’s Blackhawks of Tomorrow series about Chicago Blackhawks prospects. Today we look at forward Ryan Greene).
A freshman at Boston University, Greene was a second-round pick in general manager Kyle Davidson’s first draft. There’s something to be said for hitting on the top picks. It’s a whole other thing as it gets deeper into the draft. Odds decrease that the players will hit. Even in the second round. But it’s what makes Greene an exciting prospect for the Blackhawks. The 19-year-old had 31 points in 38 games with nine going into the back of the net. Boston is one of the finest programs in the college ranks and for a freshman to walk in and provide an impact, it’s certainly a great start. His goal scoring dried out a bit in the final third of the season which included tournament play. But make no mistake, Greene is one of the more exciting prospects in the Blackhawks system.
There are a glut of interesting centers in Chicago’s system, and Greene is one of the leaders of the pack. With Frank Nazar the higher pick but in the same draft, Davidson’s first draft looks like an absolutely hit after a season. Things, however, do ebb and flow and though he factored in to many of the games, Greene’s goal scoring was impressive in the early part of the season: five goals in nine games with and 12 points in his first 11 games. His first 15 games ended at a point-per-game pace while his final 23 games saw 16 points, with only three goals in those final games.
This is hardly bad news. A handful of games ended up in tournament play which included a Frozen Four appearance. But Greene’s draft profile saw him more as having a stronger defensive game, not scoring goals at high clips. That’s not to say he won’t. It’s simply pointing out where the bar was set in the first place.
Greene’s scorching start offered a different dimension of the defense-first center. It revealed a player whose ceiling might be even higher than initially thought. Chicago hasn’t offered an entry-level deal yet and will likely let Greene get another season under his belt at Boston. The Blackhawks are suddenly very loaded down the middle, and Greene’s trajectory continues to rise, they will be flush with talent and then have the problem of figuring out how to fit it all in with the big club.
But if Green certainly hits as he looks to, it’ll be a great problem for Chicago to have.