LD Griffin Reinhart - Edmonton Oil Kings, WHL (2012, 4th overall, New York Islanders)
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11-24-2012, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by
Reinhart may look like a man amongst boys (he certainly did last night), but he still needs to physically mature to be able to succeed against the men of the NHL. He'll obviously get bigger, but he still needs to work on his skating to add more quickness and burst in his stride. I was pleasantly surprised by his mobility as it was better than I expected, but adding that extra step would make him very difficult to beat at the NHL level.
As for his offense, he certainly has the tools. He's got that big shot and he makes very quick and smart decisions with the puck. He looked good QB'ing the PP when he got the chance, I'm not a fan of the 5 forward 1st unit PP for Edmonton btw. I don't think he's being utilized in an offensive role as he's just so advanced defensively. If he were to spend another year there next year, he'd be getting like 30 minutes/game of ice time and should get opportunities to expand his offensive game at the appropriate level. If he doesn't make the WJC this year, he's got to be a lock next year. He'll never be a huge point guy, but he could develop into a 30-35 pt guy and that would make him a beast considering his shut down ability.
Besides, the Oil Kings have some sick facilities... They may be better than what the Isles have right now. I'd rather he hone his game there than at the NHL level.
I think it's becomming more and more likely that he'll be an Islander next year. His play this year as well as recent history with top drafted d-men has me pretty convinced.
Just looking at defensemen drafted in the top-5 since 2008:
Doughty, Bogosian, Schenn, Hedman, Gudbranson and Larsson all made their NHL teams after one year of development or less. Even some guys taken outside the top-5 as well, like Myers, OEL, Kulikov, Fowler, and by all accounts Hamilton would have been another one this season.
The only top-5 d-man since '08 who took more than one season was Pietrangelo, who still had 9-game tryouts with STL in each of the two years after he was drafted.
Out of that previous group, the only one who looks to have not put it together yet is Schenn. Every other player on that list have either already established themselves as top-pairing guys for their respective teams, or are solid 2nd-pairing guys knocking on the 1st-pairing door.
Not to mention Reinhart is as physically ready if not more-so than any of those players were at his age. As well as the fact that there could be as many as three open slots on the Isles' blue-line heading into 2013-14. Two spots if you assume Streit re-signs(which I think he will). Even if they bring in another UFA or make a trade, I still see guys like Donovan/Mayfield/deHaan having to go through Reinhart for that final roster spot. I see him at least getting 9-games, but in the end wouldn't be shocked if he becomes a perminant part of this defense next season.
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