North Dakota defenseman Matt Greene will forego his senior year of eligibility at UND to sign with the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers drafted Greene in the second round (44th overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
The 6-3, 224-pound Greene, UND’s captain last season, helped lead the Fighting Sioux to a runner-up finish in the 2005 NCAA Frozen Four in Columbus, Ohio, in April. UND qualified for the NCAA championship tournament in each of his three seasons with the team, and Greene was also a member of UND’s 2004 Western Collegiate Hockey Association championship team. During Greene’s three years at UND, the Sioux were 81-35-13 (.678).
“While we’re sorry to see Matt Greene leave the program, we’re very happy to know that all of his hard work will pay off, and that he will have an immediate opportunity to play at the NHL level with the Edmonton Oilers,” said head coach Dave Hakstol. “He’s a young man with a great deal of character and a tremendous work ethic. He is a great member of the Fighting Sioux hockey family, and we wish him all the best as he embarks on his National Hockey League career.”
Greene played in 122 games for UND, scoring three goals and tallying 28 assists for 31 points. He also was whistled for 168 penalties, third-most in school history, and had 347 penalty minutes, fourth all-time at UND, in his career.
Greene also was a two-time (2003-04, 2004-05) member of the All-WCHA Academic Team, and he was the winner of UND’s Tom Hoghaug Memorial Award in 2003 as the freshman who demonstrates initiative, character and a sense of responsibility.
During his freshman year at UND, Greene was a member of Team USA at the 2003 World Junior Championships.
Greene is the second UND player with remaining eligibility to turn professional during the offseason. He joins Brady Murray, who signed with Rapperswil-Jona of the Swiss Elite League in May.