The Toronto Maple Leafs have selected big American defenceman James Greenway of the US National Team Development Program 72nd overall in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Greenway is committed to the University of Wisconsin for next season. The Plymouth Whalers own his OHL rights having drafted him in the fifth round in 2014.

Greenway, a 6’4, 200+ pound left shot, showed some offensive upside this season with the US National U18 team, putting up 28 points in 64 games as well as seven points in seven games at the U18 tournament.

James’ older brother, Jordan, was a second round pick of the Minnesota Wild in 2015.

James Greenway Rankings

  • Ranked #82 by
  • Ranked #37 by ISS Hockey
  • Ranked #139 by Future Considerations
  • Ranked #106 by McKeen’s Hockey
  • Ranked #121 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

James Greenway Scouting Report

Courtesy of the 2016 NHL Draft Black Book

The first thing that jumps out at you with Greenway is the large body. In addition to his frame-size, Greenway also has one or two flashes of brilliance per game that immediately put him on the radar, but lacks the consistency to make a shift-by-shift impact. Greenway doesn’t have the best acceleration in his first few steps, but still moves reasonably well for his size. There isn’t a lot of explosiveness in his game, but he does possess a reasonable amount of fluidity to his movement. Greenway’s game overall can be quite inconsistent as he is as prone to making a glaring mistake as he is to making a quality play. His defensive zone game is just average, he has a body that allows him to compete physically, but he’s not really what we would classify as a punishing defenseman nor a defenseman that plays with a lot of energy. His positioning and control of space are also average.

Offensively, Greenway isn’t a consistent force, but he has several times in our viewings surprised by high-end moves whether it was deking someone out, or making a high-end stretch pass. In that sense, he seems to have some creativity and natural ability to see and execute plays. Greenway is a big defenseman, that will need to continue to work on his footspeed and work harder to define himself as a player. The tools are there, but the shift-by-shift impact and the identity of his game are something that he will still need to establish. Often, we would walk away thinking that there is more to his game than what he bothered to show on a shift-by-shift basis.

James Greenway Statistics

 2012-13 Shattuck St. Mary's Bantam T1 Bantam539243386
 2013-14 Shattuck St. Mary's U16 Midget516172388
 2014-15 USNTDP Juniors USHL3311277-9
 U.S. National U17 Team USDP53156109
 USA U17 WHC-1760002
 2015-16 USNTDP Juniors USHL252810812
 U.S. National U18 Team USDP645232862
 USA U18 WJC-187167416
 2016-17 Univ. of Wisconsin NCAA-----