The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Mile High Hockey community. Eleven writers and 480 readers ranked players under the age of 25 as of September 1, 2019 in the Colorado Avalanche organization. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked.
AJ Greer has been around the Colorado Avalanche organization for several years, and this season might finally be the one were the 22-year-old left handed forward cracks the line-up for real. He has spent parts of the last three seasons in the NHL line-up, but hasn’t earned a long-term stay. The Avs clearly like him, and so do we here, at MHH.
Just last week, he signed a one year extension with the Avs. However, it is only for one more year, and $735,000 if he spends the whole year with the NHL club. (He will only earn only $90,000 in the AHL). This is season where Greer will have to prove to himself and the organization that he is NHL ready if he wants a multi-year deal next summer.
Greer has played a total of 37 games with the Avs, spread across the past three seasons. Most recently, he appeared in 15 games in 2018-2019, scoring his first NHL goal against the Winnipeg Jets, and recording an assist, also against the Jets. He has five career NHL assists, with three of them coming in 2017-2018, when he was with the team for 17 games.
The 22-year-old will likely start the season in Loveland with the Colorado Eagles, but is a strong candidate for a call-up when an inevitable injury occurs. If he is able to play his best during that time, Greer could easily play his way into the everyday lineup very soon.
In 54 games with the Eagles last season, Greer scored 19 goals and had 25 assists. Four of those goals came on the power-play, and one was scored while the Eagles were shorthanded. His combined 44 points made him the second highest scorer on the team, behind only Andre Agozzino who scored 26 goals and 60 points in total. Greer is a dynamic left-handed forward who makes plays, but sometimes goes a little too hard. However, he sat for 63 penalty minutes, last season, something he will have to work on reducing if he wants to contribute in the NHL.
Prior to joining the Eagles, Greer spent two seasons with the San Antonio Rampage, where he played a combined 98 games and scored 23 goals while recording 28 assists. These past three AHL seasons have provided him with all the experience he should need to be a successful NHL player.
Greer is 22, so he still has time in our under 25 category, but he has fallen one spot in our rankings since last year. Twenty-two is still a young age to play a full season in the NHL, so we aren’t worried. There are some young’uns coming after him though, and no one is getting any younger here.
The one cloud hanging over Greer is that he was arrested on assault charges in New York back in July. The team is aware of the situation but has said they will not comment until the investigation is finished. No one wants players with off the ice issues, so Greer will have to prove to his teammates and the front office that this will not become an issue if he wants a spot on the roster in October.