Greenway AND Eichel? Let’s Go Buffalo, Indeed.

Not coming soon enough...Photo from NHL.com

Not coming soon enough…Photo from NHL.com

‘Signifying nothing’ could be the subtitle of the Sabres’ 2015 season so far. There has been much sound and fury from both players and coaches in post-game interviews, on-ice in practices, and I’m sure this pervades the lockerroom as well. One person has remained frustratingly stoic through all of this – the man that is perhaps responsible for the lackluster play through nearly two thirds of the campaign — none other than GM Tim Murray. Maybe he knows something we don’t. Check that. He had better know something we don’t.

It often seems like the hockey world is sitting at a poker table behind their stacks of chips and watching Murray to give some sort of tell. A twitch. A smile. Something to give them the advantage, but whether Murray’s holding 2-7 offsuit or a King and an Ace with pairs on the board, nothing changes. He is a veritable Zen monk, and so here’s part deux in my menial attempts to pick his brain about the upcoming NHL draft. In this piece, I’ll be taking a closer look at USHL’s Brock Boeser and US National Team standout and future BC Eagle, Jordan Greenway.

Boeser has 41 points in 37 games for Waterloo.  Photo from hockeysfuture.com

Boeser has 41 points in 37 games for Waterloo. Photo from hockeysfuture.com

Boeser is currently taking the USHL by storm. He is top-10 in scoring, with fewer games played than any player ahead of him, save one. Boeser is a natural scorer with great hockey intelligence. He’s got a quick, accurate shot, and a knack for being in the right place at the right time in the offensive zone. He’s got a good feel for the game; he’s great at picking out his linemates’ positioning and can feed them the puck on a silver platter. While his offensive game is impressive, Boeser’s play in his own zone is lacking. He’s a -9 on the year — the worst of any of the top scorers in the USHL. It is perhaps because of this that NHL Scouting ranked Boeser 28th in their mid-season report. Boeser originally committed to play college hockey at Wisconsin but has since backed off of his commitment, taking a good look at Minnesota where his two linemates will play next season. Minnesota is a storied school that consistently produces quality two-way players for the NHL. Should Boeser land a spot on the Gophers’ roster, the school may be able to develop him into a more all-around player. Mock drafts have Boeser closing out the first round at 30th, but his individual offensive merits could jump him a few spots onto the Sabres’ draftboard. If both Boeser and Jake DeBrusk (written about here) are available, I think Murray chooses DeBrusk, but he could easily go with Boeser in this spot.

I trust Mike Grier, don't you? Photo from buffalohockeybeat.com

I trust Mike Grier, don’t you? Photo from buffalohockeybeat.com

Jordan Greenway is a big dude. Check out any article on Greenway, and that is the first thing addressed. Greenway knows it, and he likes it. The Potsdam native is committed to Boston College – the same school as Team USA teammate Colin White. When I wrote about White in my last look at potential prospects, I mentioned that he lacked size. This is not an issue with Greenway. “I’ve got some skill, and I like to drive to the net a lot. [I] can usually come out of the corners with the puck and create space for the skilled guys on the team.” Mike Grier (yeah, THAT Mike Grier) coached Greenway in the CCM Prospects game at the First Niagara Center last fall. He wisely paired Greenway with Jack Eichel. (You may have heard of him.) Grier praised the young power forward, saying that Jordan’s dirty work in the offensive zone freed Eichel and linemate Jeremy Bracco up to do what they do best. Grier says that Greenway has some good hands for a big guy, too. Size and skill are definitely something that the Sabres could use. Greenway is currently slated to go 22nd in the draft, but it would benefit the Sabres to move up to get him – especially if Murray loses the lottery and ends up with the second pick. It’s

Size.  Strength.  Skill.  Should the Sabres reach for him? Photo from sportingin.com

Size. Strength. Skill. Should the Sabres reach for him? Photo from sportingin.com

already been proven that Greenway and Eichel can play well together. Having the two prospects develop their chemistry further could prove to be amazing for Buffalo and could spell trouble for the rest of the league.

Again, this is all just speculation – a little fun researching the players available in the upcoming draft. The air is bitter, the skies are gray, and the deep, browned snow is piled on every corner. Much like the mental vacation one may take, tipping their head toward the fluorescent hum up above and pretending to be lying on a beach in the Keys, this is my way of escaping the 2014-2015 doldrums. I’ve got a couple more players I’m going to check out, but if there is someone you’d like me to look at, let me know! It’s fun to peer into the future, but far more fun when other people are sharing the vision!

Thanks again, and remember to check me out on Twitter (@SchlagsWrites) and Facebook; Schlags Writes.

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  1. Welcome to Buffalo, Jack Eichel | What's Going On In Buffalo? Find Out! - April 19, 2015

    […] I’ve also written about a great pairing Buffalo should consider for their late first round pick, here. […]

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