Former University of Maine defenseman J.D. Greenway, a third round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs who had his rights traded to the Boston Bruins for future considerations last month, has signed a two-year deal with the Bruins’ American Hockey franchise in Providence.
Greenway attended the Boston Bruins’ development camp last week at the Warrior Ice Arena in Boston and impressed Providence general manager John Ferguson.
“He came to Boston with a great attitude and work ethic,” Ferguson told the Sun Chronicle.
Greenway said he felt he had a good camp.
“They had us do a couple of tests on the ice that showed us where we are and where we need to get better,” Greenway said. “We had two-a-days and then we’d scrimmage and our team did fairly well in the scrimmages.”
He said he asked the coaches a lot of questions to try to improve his game.
“They told me to stop thinking so much and just play hockey,” Greenway said with a laugh.
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Greenway, who is surprisingly mobile for his size, scored two goals and dished out three assists in 14 games for the Black Bears in a coronavirus-shortened season this past winter. Both of his goals were game-winners for the 3-11-2 Black Bears.
He had a goal and nine assists in 34 games during the 2019-20 campaign.
He spent two seasons at the University of Wisconsin, racking up three goals and seven assists in 46 games. He spent the 2018-19 season with Dubuque of the United States Hockey League and had nine goals and 24 assists in 58 games before coming to UMaine.
Greenway played for the United States National Team Development Program’s Under-18 and Under-17 teams before moving on to the University of Wisconsin.
He said he was happy with his two-year contract, which will pay him approximately $70,000 per year, and heard “nothing but good things about the Bruins organization“ from former college teammates Trent Frederic and Cameron Hughes (Wisconsin), or Jeremy Swayman (UMaine). They have all played for Boston.
Another former UMaine teammate, Eduards Tralmaks, signed with Providence after the college season and had two goals and two assists in eight games.
Greenway said Bruins management would like to see him clean his game up in the defensive zone.
“I also want to get bigger, stronger and faster,” Greenway said.
He graduated from UMaine but could have returned because the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic.
He said he wanted to turn pro but would have considered returning to Orono if he didn’t get any offers. The Maple Leafs had until Aug. 15 to sign him or he would have become a free agent, so they traded him to Boston.
“Now I don’t have school to worry about. I’m excited about narrowing my focus to just hockey and seeing what I have. It has always been a dream of mine to play pro hockey,” said Greenway, who is training with his older brother Jordan, a winger for the Minnesota Wild, in Minneapolis. “Hopefully, I can make a name for myself and move up.”
He said his two years at UMaine were very beneficial and that late head coach Red Gendron and assistants Ben Guite and Alfie Michaud were positive influences.
“The coaches are willing to spend extra time to help you and you develop a one-on-one connection. Knowing how much they care about you helped my game,” Greenway said.