Grayson Downing

Hometown:

Abbotsford British Columbia

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1992-04-18

Position:

C

Eligible for draft:

2010

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

Height:

6-0

Acquired:

Signed as free agent, 2015

Weight:

200 lbs.

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History

2006-07:Grayson Downing skated for the Abbotsford Hawks and was drafted by Kamloops in the fourth round (81st overall) of the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft.

2007-08: Downing played for the Fraser Valley Bruins midget major team in British Columbia. He scored 15 goals with 25 assists in 32 regular season games and had 1 goal with 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes in two playoff games. Downing committed to attending the University of New Hampshire in 2011-12.

2008-09: Downing played Junior A hockey as a 16-year-old, skating for the BCHL’s Westside Warriors. He scored 13 goals with 10 assists and had 21 penalty minutes in 37 regular season games. The Warriors finished fourth in the Interior Division, sweeping Trail in the elimination round before falling to Salmon Arm in the conference semifinals. Downing had no points with 7 penalty minutes in six playoff games.

2009-10: Downing returned to West Kelowna for his second BCHL season, and skated in 43 of 60 regular season games for the Westside Warriors; missing time after suffering an injury while playing for Team West in the CJHL Prospects Game in December 2009. He scored 18 goals with 18 assists and had 28 penalty minutes as Westside finished third in the Interior Division. The Warriors defeated Trail in a preliminary series before falling to Penticton in the playoff quarterfinals. Downing led the Warriors in scoring in the playoffs, finishing with 6 goals and 4 assists with 8 penalty minutes in 11 games. He was ranked 144th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings prior to the 2010 NHL Draft but was not selected.

2010-11: Downing was the second-leading scorer for Westside behind teammate Alex Grieve and was tied for seventh in the BCHL with Prince George’s Rjay Berra with 34 goals in his third season with the Warriors. He had 36 assists to finish with 70 points, six behind Grieve, in 52 regular season games. Westside finished fourth in the Interior Division, defeating Trail in the preliminary round for the third straight season before falling to eventual BCHL champion Vernon in the quarterfinals. Downing scored 2 goals with 7 assists and 4 penalty minutes in nine playoff games. He represented Canada West at the 2010 World Junior A Challenge and in five games scored 2 goals with 2 assists and 10 penalty minutes.

2011-12: Downing was second only to leading scorer senior Steve Moses with 10 goals for the University of New Hampshire in his freshman season. Playing primarily on the left wing for the Wildcats, he also had 13 assists and was -7 with 12 penalty minutes in 34 games. UNH finished sixth in Hockey East and lost to third-place Boston University in a three-game Hockey East quarterfinal series – with two of the games going to double overtime.

2012-13: Downing was one of three players to lead the University of New Hampshire with 15 goals and was third on the team with 31 points, finishing +13 in his sophomore season, sharing the team lead in penalty minutes (44) with Austin Block. UNH reached the NCAA Northeast Regional final — receiving an at large bid after finishing in a three-way tie for third in the regular season and losing to Providence in a three-game Hockey East quarterfinal series. The Wildcats defeated Denver in the regional semifinals before falling to Massachusetts-Lowell, 2-0. Downing missed the championship game after suffering a concussion against Denver.

2013-14: Downing participated in the Chicago Blackhawks summer prospect camp before returning to New Hampshire for his junior season. He skated in 34 of 41 games for the Wildcats, suffering a shoulder injury in January in a non-conference game against Union. Downing scored 10 goals with 12 assists and was -1 with a team-high 46 penalty minutes. UNH tied Northeastern for fourth place and defeated Providence, 3-1, to reach the Hockey East finals but did not receive an NCAA at-large bid after losing to Lowell in the championship game.

2014-15: Downing signed a two-year entry-level contract with Minnesota in March 2015 following his senior season at New Hampshire. He made his pro debut with AHL affiliate Iowa, registering 4 assists and finishing -1 with 4 penalty minutes in five late season games. Iowa missed the playoffs after finishing last in the West Division. Downing attended the Calgary Flames’ prospect camp in the summer before returning to Durham for his senior year. Downing was the Wildcats’ second-leading scorer behind sophomore Tyler Kelleher. Skating on UNH’s top line with wingers Casey Thrush and Matt Pillows, he scored a team-leading 21 goals with 15 assists in 38 games and was +13 with 18 penalty minutes. New Hampshire finished eighth in Hockey East and reached the Hockey East tournament semifinals, falling to eventual champion Boston University, 4-1.

2015-16: Downing bounced back from a knee injury suffered while playing for the Minnesota Wild in rookie camp to finish second in scoring for the AHL’s Iowa Wild in his first pro season. He missed the first 17 games of the season before making his season debut on November 7th and scored 19 goals and 21 assists in 56 games, finishing +3 with 24 penalty minutes. Iowa missed the playoffs, finishing last in the Central Division. Downing was recalled by the Wild for the NHL playoffs but did not see any action. 

Talent Analysis

Downing is a decently-built, late blooming offensively oriented forward who added bulk and strength during his college career at New Hampshire. He has a hard, accurate shot and is more of a sniper than a playmaking forward. There isn’t a great deal of flash and he will likely have to develop the supplementary aspects of his game to have a chance of playing at the NHL level one day. He plays with a feistiness to his game though that recklessness has sometimes led to missed time due to injury during his junior and college careers.

Future

Downing was the second-leading scorer for Wild AHL affiliate Iowa in 2015-16 despite missing the start of the year due to a knee injury. Entering the second year of his original entry-level contract, he will challenge for a spot in the Wild's opening night roster in training camp. Downing's scoring ability and willingness to take punishment to create chances suggests he has some offensive potential at the NHL level.

NCAA Tournament: West regional features #2 Minnesota while Northeast showcases #3 UMass Lowell

by DJ Powers
on

Erik Haula - University of Minnesota

Photo: University of Minnesota forward and Minnesota Wild prospect Erik Haula is an integral part of the Golden Gophers' potent offensive attack heading into the 2013 NCAA Tournament (courtesy of Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)

The 16-team field for this year’s NCAA Tournament is now set. While several of last year’s tournament participants are back, others are making return trips after missing the tournament for a year or more. The tournament will also have one participant making its first-ever appearance.

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