Make it consecutive years that I get the privilege of writing about one of the fanbase’s absolute favourite prospects in Ridly Greig. Last year I spoke at length about Greig’s reputation among Ottawa’s coaching/development staff and his general scouting report after his first year in the organization so this time around we’ll just focus on what Greig accomplished in the year since.
10: Ridly Greig (Reader Rank: 10, Last Year: 14)
With many changes to the WHL’s COVID policy between 2020 and 2021, Greig managed to double his number of games played in Brandon from the year prior (21 to 39) and did not disappoint as he more than doubled his goals total from 10 to 26 along the way. Greig’s total shots increased proportionately with his goals (39 to 92 total) while his assists per game rate stagnated at about one a night. All told, in the regular season, Greig ranked second on his team in goals (despite missing 20+ regular season games), second in shots at 180, and third in assists/points. He also ranked top-three in the WHL for regular season points-per-game. For good measure Greig won over 50% of his draws in the regular season as a top centre in Brandon when healthy.
In the postseason, Brandon’s offence struggled mightily against Red Deer in the first round (Red Deer defeated Brandon in six games) and Greig notched just two goals and one assist while averaging five shots per game. While those numbers sufficed to lead his team in scoring, it marked a rather disappointing end to a WHL season in which Greig otherwise played very well (again when healthy). If we can find a silver lining here, Greig got his first taste on WHL playoff hockey and set personal bests in counting stats in the regular season.
As the icing on the proverbial cake for Greig and likely as a reward from the organization for all of his achievements since Ottawa drafted him, Greig skated in Belleville’s last postseason game of 2022 as Rochester eliminated Belleville in the qualifying round. Greig certainly made the most of the opportunity with one assist and two shots for the BSens in what turned out an overtime heartbreaker at the hands of the Americans. As I mentioned last year, head coach Mann has had nothing but good things to say about Greig and feels Greig already belongs in the AHL fulltime having fulfilled his potential in junior hockey.
After multiple setbacks associated with the pandemic, Greig finally got to join the Canadian national team at the IIHF world juniors this summer and looked poised for a exceptional performance with three goals, three assists, and nine shots in five games before succumbing to injury, and ultimately missing out on the Canada’s eventual gold medal-winning run. For his efforts, Greig did get the distinction of best player in Canada’s 5-2 victory over Latvia during the preliminary round.
Looking back on the past year, Greig has fulfilled all of our expectations in terms of maintaining his offensive output and developing into the type of forward that will fit perfectly into Ottawa’s second or third line in the coming years. Few players outside of Brady Tkachuk exemplify Ottawa’s ideal brand of hockey the way Greig does. The injuries and penalties, however, continue to concern me and while I know most fans in Ottawa clamour for Greig’s style of play on the edge, even the best prospects can only afford so many setbacks. I won’t equate correlation with causation because I can’t prove that Greig’s physical style has led to all of the injuries he sustained last year, but the extra-curricular stuff certainly doesn’t improve Greig’s chances of staying in the lineup night-in and night-out. From a purely developmental standpoint I don’t think the organization has much more to ask of Greig but as we’ve said before, he’ll have to balance out the unnecessarily physical elements of his game with how he can best contribute to a winning Ottawa Senators team.