Windsor Spitfires captain Liam Greentree could be a future power forward

Photo credit:Tim Cornett/OHL Images
Ryan Pike
29 days ago
There’s a frequently-used phrasing in hockey scouting circles: you can’t teach size. Within the upper echelon of the 2024 NHL Draft class, there are a few prospects that offer an intriguing combination of size and skill and potentially project as future power forwards at the pro level.
One of them is Windsor Spitfires captain Liam Greentree, who’s emerged as one of the more interesting prospects in the Ontario Hockey League over just two seasons in the circuit.

Scouting report

A product of Oshawa, Ontario, Greentree is a January 2006 birthday. He’s a left shot winger listed at 6’2″ and 198 pounds.
A second-round selection of the Spitfires in the 2022 OHL Priority Selection, Greentree joined the Spits the following season and impressed. He led the OHL in goals by a rookie and was named to the league’s all-rookie team. In the following season, he was named the club’s captain and doubled his point production from his prior season. Oh, and he represented Canada at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup and the Under-18 Worlds, winning gold at both events.
In November, Dobber Prospects’ Hadi Kalakeche assessed Greentree’s game:
Greentree’s season has gone impressively well so far for the Spitfires, with 11 goals and 13 assists in 15 games to start off the year. A lot of his points have come off of one-touch plays off the cycle, but the occasional off-the-boards play while protecting the puck shows the potential for more, especially with his 6-foot-2, almost 200-pound frame. A rifle of a shot and a knack for finding soft ice away from the puck allow Greentree to make the most out of his scoring chances. His playmaking shows up in flashes which follow his inconsistent scanning, and the skating holds him back from being able to jump into offensive zone transitions consistently, but the upside as a middle-six scoring winger with power-forward elements will likely see him go higher on draft day than we have him.
In February, Sportsnet’s Jason Bukala wrote this as part of his top 40 rankings:
Greentree continues to produce offence for the Spitfires. He’s a goal scoring power forward who’s hard to knock off the puck. He extends plays along the wall and hunts pucks in the crease area. Greentree is better than average defensively and he doesn’t cut corners. There’s a real possibility the could end up in a top six NHL role complementing lighter, equally skilled, linemates.
In April, The Hockey News’ Tony Ferrari provided his two cents on Greentree’s game:
Greentree’s skating, specifically his acceleration, remains the biggest flaw in his game, but he is so intelligent with how he uses his frame and puck skill that it doesn’t really impede him. He uses teammates extremely well, finding the outlet when space does close on him and then working to get himself into position to receive a return pass.
In short: Greentree has size and has shown the ability to score and use his teammates well. His skating is a bit lacking – and hey, teams have skating coaches – but his performance to date suggests that might not hold him back from being an offensive contributor at the NHL level. The big question is whether or not he’s projecting as a player you can build around, or if he’ll be a complimentary piece, albeit a high-end one.

The numbers

In 2023-24, Greentree had 36 goals and 54 assists for 90 points over 64 games for Windsor. He led his team in all offensive categories. He had five more goals than the next-best Spitfire and 19 more assists than the next-best Spitfire, which translated to 24 more points than the next-best Spitfire.
League-wide, he was tied for 16th in goals, tied for 11th in assists, and tied for 11th in points. For somebody in just their second OHL season, that’s quite an impressive output.

Availability and fit

The only real knock we can see against Greentree from a Flames perspective is he’s a winger. The Flames have developed a ton of prospect depth on the wings, with the likes of Samuel Honzek, Matt Coronato, William Strömgren, Jakob Pelletier and others likely trying to work themselves into the club’s long-term plans – not to mention the many, many wingers they have locked up at the NHL level. We’re not sure if adding another winger to the rotation would be the ideal move.
In a draft class that’s chock full of pretty good defencemen and centres, Greentree’s also a bit further down the public draft rankings than some of the other players likely available when the Flames select at ninth overall. In recent rankings, he’s been listed 13th by Elite Prospects, 14th by Daily Faceoff, 13th by Dobber Prospects, 16th by Scott Wheeler and 17th by Corey Pronman. Generally, he’s considered to be a quite good draft prospect; he’s just doesn’t seem to be considered a top 10 prospect by the scouting community, so he’d be perceived as a bit of a reach at ninth overall.
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