Manor 2024 NHL Draft Preview: Forward Liam Greentree, Canada

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The recent news of PL Dubois being traded brings to question the future plans GM Rob Blake and the Kings have for the top of their lineup in a few years. With the possibility of some forwards being moved (like Kaliyev), graduating (Turcotte), or already gone (Jaret Anderson-Dolan), Los Angeles suddenly has several holes to fill among forward spots within their prospect pool.

Lately, a lot of time has been spent reviewing prospects who provide elements of grit and character. While Dubois didn’t work out in SoCal, there is also an additional gap of skill the organization sought which should now be examined further. Hence the player featured in our latest NHL Draft Profile…

Liam Greentree​


Vitals

Date of Birth: January 1, 2006
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 198 lbs
Shoots: Left
Position: Forward

2023-24 Season

Greentree spent the entirety of 2023-24 playing for the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires. In 64 games, he had 90 points (36 G, 54 A).

It’s How the Younger Ones Start

It’s a tale as old as time. Child plays hockey. Child has friends who play hockey with him. Child has a little brother who wants to play hockey with him and his friends. Child and friends tell little brother that in order to play, he has to be goalie.

Greentree was the little brother in this scenario.

It’s a brief clip, yet he outlines how it was this initial exposure to hockey that brought on his love for the game: Meet The Future - Liam Greentree - Ontario Hockey League

Double Gold Club

In more recent news, Greentree was one of several prospects who won two gold medals this year: August 2023 with the Hlinka Gretzky Cup and during the U-18 World Junior Championships in May.

Combine the Tests

Greentree was an attendee at the Combine, and produced the following top-25 scores in some of the physical fitness tests:

Pro Agility – Left Time (sec): 4.41 (23rd)
Pro Agility – Right Time (sec): 4.39 (t-24th)
Force Plate: Squat Jump (inches): 16.79 (15th)

Rankings by Independent Scouting Services

Ranked No. 28 by North American Independent Scouting, some of the commentary included – “Big frame who finishes opportunities, but his feet have to get better. Defensively needs work but goals are important.”

Ranked No 16 by Draft Pro. “Greentree is an excellent skater who has great crossovers, which help him create speed. He effortlessly transitions from forward to backward skating and utilizes backward crossovers very well. He has terrific 10-2 skating which he uses in open space. He is a very smooth skater. He has excellent stick handles, complementing his skating ability and making him great at taking the puck up the ice. He can easily blow by or undress defenders in the neutral zone to get the puck into the offensive zone. He does an excellent job of pulling the puck side to side and avoiding defenders’ poke checks. He has good vision and accurate passes. He has a deep toolbox of passes. Has a great saucer on his forehand and backhand. He is constantly a threat when he has the puck in the offensive due to his playmaking and scoring ability.”

Ranked No. 17 by McKeen’s Hockey. “Greentree’s best offensive attribute would probably be his high-end skill with the puck. He can really keep
it on a string. Even without high-end quickness, he routinely evades pressure because of his ability to work through sticks and off checks. His hands work in sync with his feet. This makes him so dangerous along the wall. He gains inside leverage and is so good at coming away from 50/50 battles with possession, often looking to work his way inside to the slot.

Greentree is also a high-end processor. He has a clear understanding of what he wants to do with the puck, and despite being a highly creative player, he limits offensive zone turnovers by making quick decisions when pressured. He also excels away from the puck by consistently finding soft spots in coverage, understanding how to vary pace, and time cuts, to get himself clean looks. When he does get a clean look, his powerful wrist shot is a major weapon and gives him significant upside as a scorer at the NHL level.”

Ranked No. 23 by Future Considerations. “Greentree is a dynamic forward celebrated for his elite shooting capabilities and robust physical presence, marking him as a top prospect with significant top-six forward potential. His prowess on the ice is highlighted by an extraordinary ability to release powerful shots from various angles, making
him a relentless scoring threat. Greentree’s offensive toolkit extends beyond his shot; he demonstrates superior puckhandling skills that enable him to navigate tight spaces effectively, creating scoring opportunities for both himself and his teammates. His understanding of game dynamics allows him to excel in transition, leveraging his speed and agility to drive the play forward and capitalize on high-danger scoring chances.”

See For Yourself

Here is video of Greentree playing against North Bay:


Final Comments

The body of work in scouting reports highlights all the different ways the Oshawa, Ontario native is a threat on the ice. Greentree is physically gifted at 6-foot-2, has several tools with his shot and passes, and can provide an extra gear with top end speed. Windsor was a struggling team, and his 24-point lead over the team’s second leading scorer was higher than any other OHL team. Offensively, the talented winger carried the Spitfires.

Greentree’s decision-making with the puck is very good. He often looks like he already knows what he’s going to do when he has the puck. Offensive sense like that can often overcome any skating issues, because no opponent’s feet can move as fast as his brain. This was an understated gift of Vilardi (who, coincidentally, played for Windsor in his draft year).

His skating technique and style looks a lot like former Kings player Jeff Carter. The movements look effortless, yet he achieves good top-end speed with just a few strides. As he continues to build his strength, Greentree has tremendous potential to be a terror on both sides of the ice.

This is where we put on our critical hat, though.

While there are times he generates good speed with minimal effort, that also means he can be spotted putting in minimal effort. There are major gaps in threat assessment in the defensive zone. Even when Greentree identifies a dangerous attempt against, his response varies between lacking intensity or effectiveness to neutralize it. This is much less of an issue on the attack, as he’s often the focal point. If not immediately participating, he’s confident in his ability to make something with the puck when it comes to him.

Of course, no prospect’s perfect. He’s already a captain of Windsor, and so there are leadership qualities undoubtedly present. While not a hitter or a fighter, he’s assertive enough when challenged after the whistle to respond and get in the mix. There’s evidence of competitiveness, and thus there’s always hope for continuous improvement.

As far as the Kings taking him at 21, there’s mixed concern. On one hand, he’s probably going to be among the most talented forwards who has a chance of falling to them. On the other hand, many of the criticisms levied can be attributed to Arthur Kaliyev, and a short line of Blake’s bench bosses has yet to find a way to make it work. This isn’t a knock on either Greentree or Los Angeles; sometimes pieces don’t fit together. If the two sides can find a way to pair well and agree upon an ideal path, the talented forward’s skillset would be a fantastic asset.

Chat with David: You can find him on Twitter @Davidenkness to talk more hockey.




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