The Shadow League has written several articles on the changing face of hockey, its growing African-American fan base and the African-American players that are incrementally entering the game and influencing the culture.
Further proof of this growing trend can be found in the Greenway brothers from Canton, New York, who at the age of 12 decided that they wanted to play hockey at the highest levels.
When he hits the ice at next month’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Jordan Greenway, a forward from Boston University and a 2015 second-round draft pick of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, will become the first African-American to represent Team USA in hockey at the Games.
Jordan made the cut this week as the U.S. announced its men’s and women’s rosters for next month’s Olympics. His brother James Greenway, a sophomore on the Wisconsin men’s hockey team and a 2016 third-round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is also a rising pro prospect and will be rooting his brother on with dreams of one day playing in his own Olympic Games.
For the first time in three decades, the NHL won’t send any of its players to the Olympics, so guys like Greenway will be the driving force behind America’s quest for a gold medal. And in the process, he will be breaking barriers and displaying the growing diversity of hockey in America.
Greenway, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound junior, scored seven goals and collected 10 assists in 19 games with Boston University this season. The 20 year old, was one of four collegiate players selected for a U.S. team that largely consists of players who are starring in overseas leagues, a career minor-leaguer, and a 38-year-old recently-retired Stanley Cup champion.