It is quite rare to see a player from Upper Canada College get drafted by an NHL team, but that is exactly what Colin Greening accomplished when the Ottawa Senators selected him with their 7th round pick, 204th overall, in 2005. The St. John’s, Newfoundland native was a year older than most prospects in his draft class and went across the country to play for Nanaimo in the BCHL before ending up at Cornell University.
2003-04: Greening spent the season playing for Upper Canada College in Toronto. He was an offensive dynamo, finishing the season with 78 points, 30 goals, 48 assists in just 52 games.
2004-05: Continuing his UCC career, Greening scored at a slightly lesser pace than the previous season and played in 17 fewer games. His totals were 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 points in 35 games. Greening was chosen in the seventh round, 204th overall, of the 2005 NHL Draft by the Ottawa Senators.
2005-06: After bring selected by the Ottawa Senators, Greening traveled across Canada to join Nanaimo in the BCHL. He continued to show his offensive prowess, scoring well over a point-per-game as a rookie. In 56 games, he scored 27 goals and 35 assists for 62 points in 56 games. He also collected 46 penalty minutes. Nearly half his goals (13) were scored on the power play. Greening’s stellar season was topped off by an appearance in the BCHL All-Star game. In the playoffs, Greening tallied 3 goals in 5 games, with one coming on the power play.
2006-07: After a great season in the BCHL, Greening joined up with Cornell University (ECAC) where he scored 11 goals and 19 points as a freshman. He was named to the ECAC All-Academic Team.
2007-08: The sophomore slump didn’t affect the center this season, which saw him net a career-high 14 goals and 33 points in 36 contests with Cornell (ECAC). He also tallied a career-high 41 points and was named to the ECAC All-Academic Team.
2008-09: The Cornell (ECAC) center netted 15 goals and 31 points in 36 appearances this season. For the first time he was named to the ECAC All-Star second team and, for the third straight season, was nominated to the ECAC All-Academic Team.
2009-10: Colin finished out his final season with Cornell with a PPG season, scoring 15 goals and 35 points in 34 games. He be named to NCAA (ECAC)2nd All Star Team , win the NCAA (ECAC) Championship with Cornell and be named the Student-Athlete of the Year.
2010-11: Greening had an outstanding season and made the jump to the professional ranks look easy. He began the season in the AHL riding shotgun with Corey Locke and Bobby Butler on the top Binghamton scoring line producing 15 goals and 25 assists in 59 games before being promoted to the Ottawa club at the trading deadline with the opportunity to play out the regular season in the NHL. With Ottawa he played with a number of line-mates and various roles contributing a surprising six goals and seven assists and plus two rating in 24 games. He returned to Binghamton playing a checking role for their successful playoff run, chipping in one goal and four assists in 23 contests.
Greening has excelled at every level of hockey he has played. Demonstrating exceptional raw skill, Greening has good NHL-caliber size and is an excellent skater. Blessed with natural speed and a smooth, powerful stride, Greening has the ability to switch gears quickly. An offensive powerhouse at the UCC and BCHL level, Greening possesses a good hard slap shot with a terrific release and he is not afraid to use it. He is always willing to go to the net and get dirty in the traffic areas allowing him to cash in on rebounds often. Greening has a nose for the net but needs to improve his puck skills, specifically his ability to handle the puck at high speeds under pressure. He sees the ice well and uses his line-mates often, but his passing skills need some improvement. Greening excels in the puck pursuit game and is a very opportunistic type player. He uses his size well, hitting hard and is very strong along the boards.
Greening was dealt by the Ottawa Senators to the Toronto Maple Leafs along with Jared Cowen, Milan Michalek, Tobias Lindberg, and a 2017 second round pick. Coming back to the Senators were Dion Phaneuf, Matt Frattin, Casey Bailey, Ryan Rupert, and Cody Donaghey.