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Islanders take gamble on Newfoundland forward who is planning on going NCAA route

Ryan Greene played prep school hockey at Connecticut’s South Kent Prep School this season. He has given a verbal commitment to attend and play for Boston University starting in 2021.
Ryan Greene played prep school hockey at Connecticut’s South Kent Prep School this season. He has given a verbal commitment to attend and play for Boston University starting in 2021. - Contributed
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

The Charlottetown Islanders swung for the fences with their fourth-round pick.

The Isles entered Saturday with two second-round picks, two more in the third and then weren’t scheduled to select again until the eighth round.

They flipped the last of the first four picks (52nd overall) to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles for the 59th and 75th overall picks.

“It allowed us to take a gamble on Ryan Greene,” head coach and general manager Jim Hulton said. “He’s a real high-end kid.”

The Paradise, N.L., native put up 50 assists and 81 points in 50 games at Selects Academy in Connecticut this year and is heading back there for 2019-20. He added eight goals and seven assists in seven games for Newfoundland and Labrador at the Canada Games in Red Deer, Alta.

While he is on the NCAA path, the door has not been completely shut on major junior north of the border.

“Maybe we’re crazy, but if it ever works out, it turns the draft into a slam dunk,” Hulton said. “It becomes a grand slam if you can convince that one guy because he’s essentially a top-10 pick.”

The Islanders have gone down this route before.

Charlottetown selected Brett Budgell, also a Paradise native, in the second round of the 2017 draft. He was considering the NCAA route but committed to the Islanders at Christmas time after playing half a season in the United States Hockey League (USHL).

The Isles third-round pick that year was Seacow Pond native Brad Morrissey, who has committed to University of Maine. He had 12 points in 33 games this season with the USHL’s Tri-City Storm.

Related link:

    • Greene excited to be BU bound

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