July 15, 2019
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UMaine men’s hockey coach looks to the future with 7 recruits

Courtesy of Peter Buehner
Courtesy of Peter Buehner
University of Maine men's hockey coach Red Gendron, pictured during a game at Alfond Arena last season.

Defenseman and Toronto Maple Leafs third round draft pick J.D. Greenway, who spent two seasons at the University of Wisconsin before leaving to play in the United States Hockey League this season, is one of seven players who has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the University of Maine in the near future.

Greenway, who is from Canton, New York, is one of two defensemen along with a goalie and four forwards.

The other defenseman is Levi Kleiboer (Martensville, Saskatchewan); the goalie is Matthew Thiessen (Altona, Manitoba); and the forwards are Harrison Roy (Lakeville, Massachusetts), Ben Poisson (Vancouver, British Columbia), Lynden Breen (Grand Bay-Westfield, New Brunswick) and A.J. Drobot (Churchville, Pennsylvania).

[UMaine men’s hockey team adds defenseman for second semester]

“It is going to be another impactful class,” UMaine sixth-year head coach Red Gendron said. “They are all terrific hockey players who will make a difference.”

UMaine will graduate three defensemen (Rob Michel, Keith Muehlbauer and Sam Becker), three forwards (Brendan Robbins, Danny Perez and Canon Pieper) and goalie Rob McGovern off the current team.

The 20-year-old Greenway played in 34 games as a freshman at the University of Wisconsin in 2016-17, and had a goal and six assists. He appeared in 12 games for the Badgers last season, and had two goals and an assist.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Greenway, brother of former Boston University and current Minnesota Wild left winger Jordan Greenway, is currently playing for Dubuque in the United States Hockey League and has 3 & 10 in 21 games.

[Team USA Under-18s upend UMaine hockey team]

“He is a mountain and he is also skilled and smooth,” Gendron said.

Greenway, like his brother, previously played for the United States National Team Development Program’s Under-18 and U-17 teams.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Thiessen, who is 18 years old and is considered an “elite goalie” by Gendron, is a seventh round draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks.

He currently has a 3.15 goals-against average and a .889 save percentage in 17 games for Dubuque of the USHL.

The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Kleiboer, who is 20, is playing for the Minot Minotauros of the Northern American Hockey League and he has a goal and five assists in 13 games.

“He is slick with the puck,” said Gendron, who added that he fills the need for a right-hand shot defenseman since Michel, Becker and Muehlbauer are all right-hand shots.

[Men’s hockey team confident about season despite offensive struggles]

The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Breen, who is 17, is playing for the Central Illinois Flying Aces of the USHL and has 8 & 10 in 25 games.

“He is a terrific offensive player,” Gendron said.

The 18-year-old Roy has 3 & 7 in 24 games for Cedar Rapids of the USHL, and the 6-foot, 170-pounder can “make plays” according to Gendron. He had 4 & 5 in 52 games for Cedar Rapids a year ago.

The 19-year-old Poisson is playing for Prince George in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League and has 15 & 12 in 32 games after notching 22 & 29 in 53 games for Prince George a year ago.

Gendron said the 5-foot-11, 161-pound Poisson is a “reliable, 200-foot center iceman” with “very good” offensive skills.

The 20-year-old Drobot has 2 & 7 in 23 games for the Fargo Force of the USHL after tallying 14 & 11 in 57 games for them a year ago. The 5-10, 185-pound Drobot is “very fast and a great penalty-killer” according to Gendron.

Drobot and current UMaine winger Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup were teammates for the Clark Cup-winning Force a year ago. The Clark Cup goes to the USHL’s playoff champion.

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