A.J. Greer: Colorado Avalanche 2015 NHL Draft Profile


A.J. Greer: Colorado Avalanche 2015 NHL Draft Profile

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The 2014-15 season was unfortunately cut short for the Colorado Avalanche. That means that here at Mile High Sticking, we have a long off-season ahead of us. While the off-season is filled with all different kinds of articles, regarding the playoffs (that we are unfortunately not a part of), Avalanche season reviews, and many other things, it also gives us time to focus on the Colorado Avalanche 2015 NHL Draft.

So let’s take a look at A.J. Greer — a high-risk, high-reward forward that could also turn out to be a big-time steal if he drops to the later rounds.

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Name: A.J. Greer

Position: Left wing

Shoots: Left

Height, weight: 6’3″, 205 lbs

Team/League: Boston University, NCAA

Stats (from eliteprospects.com): 













Risk, Reward: 4/5, 4/5

NHL-potential: Bottom-six forward

Draft Range: Between second and fifth round

Scouting report

A.J. Greer is an interesting player. He was a freshman for Boston University this season and, as opposed to Jack Eichel or Boston College’s Noah Hanifin, he actually played a freshman role for his team. He went from being a healthy scratch to playing on the fourth line, then the third and eventually worked his way up to the second line, where he stayed for the Frozen Four semifinal and final.

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Greer is now ranked 69th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, 70th by Hockeyprospect.com, 57th by ISS Hockey and 60th by The Hockey News. However, he is not ranked in Future Considerations’ Top 100.

So what is it that makes four of those scouting services think that highly of a forward that has scored only seven points in 37 games in his draft year?  According to different scouts, Greer shows some raw talent that could turn him into a punishing power forward on the next level one day.

According to Bill Placzeck of Draft Site, Greer’s stand-out qualities are his “excellent size, athleticism and feet”. His size is obviously something Patrick Roy would really like, as he is a fan of big and powerful, yet skilled forwards. A.J. Greer is just that, while also being a powerful, athletic skater.

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Back when Greer was playing in the USHS, he often looked like a man playing against boys, according to Future Considerations. Playing against men in the NCAA now, he was not that dominant anymore, but still showcased his ability to throw his body around and punish opponents. He needs to do that more consistently, though.

Future Considerations continues to say that Greer “has a strong shot and hands that make him dangerous down around the opposition’s crease”. His good hands and shot have not been on display as much in the NCAA, but you can tell that he knows how to handle the puck and shoot it.

Furthermore, he has good hockey sense and can pass the puck well. He has all the tools to be successful offensively and his 98 points in 64 USHS games and three points in two USHL games were clearly no coincidence.

Had A.J. Greer decided to stay in the USHL for his draft year, he may have knocked on being a first round pick. This way, he mostly played a bottom-line role in the NCAA, which brings doubts for scouts.

Fit with the Avalanche

As said before, A.J. Greer is a player Roy would love and I am sure he is on Roy’s list. If he reaches his potential, he could turn into a player as good as Lawson Crouse. However, he has a lower floor than Crouse, which adds to the risk.

Greer could be anything from a big-time bust, over a career AHL player and an NHL bottom-six forward, to a great scoring power forward. The range is big and it will be interesting to see when a team takes a chance on him. For the Avs, I would prefer other players in the third round and he is definitely no option for the 40th pick.

However, Greer could be a great value-pick in the fourth round if he is still available. I would expect him to stay in the NCAA through the 2017-18 season, but he should be able to make an impact in the NHL then. If so, the pick will be worth it.

More Draft Coverage:

2015 NHL Draft Profile List

Ryan Gropp

Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson

Nicolas Meloche

Conor Garland

Christian Fischer

Beichler’s Full First Round Mock Draft

Revisiting Avalanche Early Draft Options

Next: Draft Profile: Vladislav Gavrikov

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