StaTuesday: Greenway rising up Wild rookie ranks
The Minnesota Wild’s youth movement has propelled them back into the middle of the playoff race.
Coming off a five-game losing streak in mid-February, general manager Paul Fenton’s trades for young forwards Ryan Donato and Kevin Fiala at the Feb. 25 deadline have sparked the Wild to a six-game point streak, the team’s longest of the season.
But it’s not just a change of scenery that’s turned the Wild’s season around.
Forward Jordan Greenway is putting together a solid rookie campaign and has especially turned it on during the six-game streak. Greenway has two goals and two assists in the last six games, boosting his total to 11 goals and 10 assists in 65 contests this season.
Those 21 points have Greenway tied for seventh in franchise history among rookies, knotted with Justin Fontaine (2013-14) and current captain Mikko Koivu (2005-06).
Leading that chart is Marian Gaborik, the Wild’s all-time leading goal scorer who notched 36 points as an 18-year-old rookie in 2000-01, Minnesota’s first season as a franchise.
Greenway is one of six Wild rookies to tally double-digit goals and first since Fontaine.
Fellow rookie forward Luke Kunin is finding his way up those charts as well. His five goals and nine assists in 35 games may not look spectacular at first glance, but Kunin’s .40 points per game average ranks fourth among Wild rookies that have appeared in 35+ contests.
Donato, acquired when Minnesota sent Charlie Coyle to Boston, is off to a crazy start with the Wild. He registered a point in his first five games with the team, amassing five assists and a pair of goals in six games. A sample size this small isn’t worth much, but just for fun — if Donato played a full 82-game season at this pace, he’d finish the year with 27 goals and 68 assists for 95 points.
Now that would shatter some franchise rookie records.
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Greenway ranks even higher among Wild rookies when considering shot percentage. The 22-year-old has scored 11 goals on 86 shots, good for a 12.8 percent clip. That ranks fourth among Wild rookies with 50+ shots on their resumes, which is led by Fontaine.
Fontaine, who is currently playing for the Kunlun Red Star in the KHL, never touched double-digit goals again in his three-year NHL career.
We have a feeling that won’t be the case for Greenway.