The Buffalo Sabres are expected to acquire forward Jordan Greenway from the Minnesota Wild, as first reported by The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta. According to Pagnotta, the Wild are receiving a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 fifth-rounder in return.
Per The Athletic’s Michael Russo, the Wild are not retaining any salary on Greenway’s $3MM AAV deal, a contract that runs for two seasons after this one. TSN’s Darren Dreger notes that the second-rounder sent to Minnesota is the one the team received from the Vegas Golden Knights in the Jack Eichel trade.
Once officially completed, this deal will end Greenway’s at times highly promising, at times highly frustrating time with the Wild, a period that stretches all the way back to the 2015 draft, where former Wild GM Chuck Fletcher selected Greenway 50th overall. Fletcher plucked Greenway from the US National Team Development Program, where he was coached by current Sabres head coach Don Granato.
Greenway made his way to Boston University after the draft, and starred for three seasons there as a high-scoring power forward. He made his NHL debut in 2017-18, signing with the Wild at the conclusion of his collegiate season, and he showed some promise, scoring two points in five playoff games.
Greenway stepped into the NHL lineup and played 2018-19 with the Wild, scoring 12 goals and 24 points in 81 games.
His six-foot-six size and speed excited Wild fans, and there were nights where it seemed clear that big things would be coming for the American power forward.
Greenway’s progress began to stagnate after that point, and a mix of injuries and inconsistency spelled the end of Greenway’s time in Minnesota.
While he scored 27 points in 62 games last season, Greenway has scored just seven points in 45 games this year, and Russo reported last month that the Wild were “actively shopping” him. It’s seemed clear for some time that a change of scenery was the best path forward for the Wild and Greenway, and that change of scenery has been achieved through this trade.
The Wild not only receive a quality draft pick in return for Greenway but they also clear his $3MM cap hit from their books, something of particular importance given how they are still under the weight of the Ryan Suter/Zach Parise buyouts.
For the Sabres, this deal is a roll of the dice on their development staff’s ability to rejuvenate the career of a player with some tantalizing physical tools. NHL teams are always on the hunt to find the next power forward, and while a second-rounder and another draft pick is certainly a hefty price to pay for a player with single-digit points at this stage of the season, it’s easy to see why the Sabres might get excited about what Greenway could do on their team.
Should the Sabres end up unlocking the potential many have believed Greenway has long possessed, then they could receive a big, talented forward with some affordable team control left on his contract.
Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images