2012 Minnesota Wild Prospects: #19 - Chay Genoway
Posted by Dan Shrader on Thursday, August 23, 2012
Defense, 5'9" 177 Pounds
Houston (AHL)/Minnesota (NHL) 7-29-36/0-1-1
Many of us in WCHA territory are familiar with the diminutive Genoway, who played for parts of five seasons for the beloved/loathed/whatever University of North Dakota Figh.... UND. Despite his size, Genoway used his explosive skating ability and high end hockey sense to contribute from the blueline, which in the end earned him an entry-level deal with The Wild, although because of his age, it was only a one year deal.
However he showed enough during his time in Houston, and in his one game cup of coffee with the big club, to garner a two year extension at 575K per year.
Its hard to make sense of what Genoway's future in the organization is- he is, by my estimation, the oldest player on FRB's Top 20, but has the puck skills, ability to move the puck, and create offense from the back end that few other defensemen in the stable (especially those who are closer to contributing to the big club) possess. Its not like there isn't a precedent for a smallish D grabbing a regular spot in the lineup- Jared Spurgeon has already blazed that trail, however one has to wonder if The Brass would prefer not having two of its top 6 defenseman being 5'9". One person I talked to seemed to believe that he would be a career AHLer who would get periodic cups of coffee at the NHL level, but let's remember that he just experienced his first full professional season, so the key will be the adjustments into year 2. He does have the vote of confidence in that he's under team control for the next two years.
That being said, he'll be 25 in December. But Genoway has the traits that have become the hallmark of the Fletcher/Flahr regime- high character and a tremendous work ethic. He looked shaky and a tad overwhelmed when I saw him at the Traverse City Prospect Tournament roughly a year ago (sadly the event has become a casualty of the ongoing CBA talks) but looked more composed in the few viewings I saw of him throughout the year.
The potential is there, but the reality is that its up to Chay Genoway to make a case for himself.
*photo credit: Getty Images