Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2020 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Ridly Greig.
Ridly Greig was taken 8th overall in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft. This season has been a breakout campaign for the Brandon Wheat Kings centre. He has scored 26 goals and 34 assists for 60 points in just 56 games played before the season was stopped. Greig scored the Teddy Bear Toss goal for the Wheat Kings this season. In the summer he also got the opportunity to play for Team Canada at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, winning a silver medal. Greig put up two goals and an assist for three points in five games at the tournament.
Greig scored 14 goals and 21 assists for 35 points in 63 games played last year. He also made an appearance on the international stage. Greig was part of Team Canada Red at the 2018 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, picking up one assist in six tournament games. The son of former NHLer, and 1990 first-round pick Mark Greig who played 125 NHL games along with having a long minor-league career. He is now a scout with the Philadelphia Flyers. His uncle, Bruce Greig, was also an NHL draftee, an eighth-round pick of the California Golden Seals, who played in both the NHL and WHA.
Ridly Greig Scouting Report
Center/Left Wing — shoots Left
Born August 8th, 2002 — Lethbridge, Alberta
Height 5’11” — Weight 162 lbs [180 cm / 73 kg]
At 5-foot-11 and just 162 pounds, Greig will need to fill out his frame to be effective at the next level. Greig makes up for his lack of size with his skating ability. His first few steps are very good. He also has very good acceleration. While Greig’s top-end speed is only a little above-average, those first few steps and the acceleration make up for it. It is rare to have a 200-foot race to a puck in a hockey game. It is about much shorter distances. Greig’s quickness is more valuable than top-end speed. His edgework and agility are also good, and Greig can avoid defenders both with and without the puck. He also has a low centre of gravity which helps his balance and makes him difficult to knock off the puck.
Greig combines his strong skating with excellent stickhandling. He can make plays at top speed, which makes him extremely dangerous off the rush. Greig has excellent vision and playmaking skills. He has the ability to quickly move the puck through tight areas and set up his teammates. Greig is good at controlling the puck in the cycle game, keeping the puck moving and getting open to get a pass back from a teammate. He is very good at playing the give-and-go off the wall and taking the puck to the net for a scoring chance, either for himself or a teammate.
Greig also has a very good wrist shot and quick release. He has quick hands and can change the angle on his shot which helps to fool goalies. Greig does not have the hardest shot, but his accuracy and that release makes up for it. He is also not afraid to fight in the dirty areas of the ice, getting to the slot and other high traffic areas. Greig is a battler who is not afraid to take a hit to make a play. He gets in quickly on the forecheck, pressuring defenders and can deliver big hits at times. He is also a very smart player, moving the puck to good areas, and getting open without it.
Greig brings his work ethic to all three zones of the ice. He is good at bringing backpressure and supporting the defence in transition. He can also play down low and support against the cycle. Greig’s size can be an issue as he may get pushed around a bit by bigger forwards. However, with his strong balance and quick stick, he is also able to create turnovers and move the puck up the ice quickly. Greig has been below 50% in the faceoff circle and can improve this area of his game going forward.
Projection and Comparison
Greig will need to continue to bulk up, while not losing his skating ability, to be able to play his game at the pro level. That likely means another couple of years in junior, and potentially some time in the AHL as well. There is potential to become a top-six forward. Greig is the type of player who has the coach’s confidence in any situation. Greig’s game is reminiscent of Brayden Schenn, but this is a style comparison and not one based on skill or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Ridly Greig that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Ridly Greig Main Photo:
HAMILTON, ON – JANUARY 16: Ridly Greig #17 of Team White skates during the 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game against Team Red at FirstOntario Centre on January 16, 2020, in Hamilton, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)