When I say New York Islanders, what comes to mind? Words like,
laughing stock and abhorrent are just a couple of adjectives that you can use
to describe the hockey team known as the Islanders.
Despite that, Garth Snow, the Islanders general manager, and
his scouts have draft potential National Hockey League stars in Ryan Strome,
Nino Niederreiter and Calvin De Haan.
The Islanders held the fourth selection at the 2012 NHL
Entry Draft and with Ryan Murray already taken by the Columbus
Blue Jackets, Snow had decisions to make. He could have taken Moose Jaw Warriors
defenseman Morgan Reilly but ultimately he chose Edmonton Oil Kings defenseman
Reinhart, the son of former Calgary Flames defender Paul
Reinhart, was rated as one of the top defenseman by Central Scouting and for
In his sophomore season in the Western Hockey League,
Reinhart tallied 12 goals and assisted on 24 of them for the Oil Kings. In
addition to that, he was a fantastic plus-23.
He has tremendous size and is surprisingly mobile. Also, he
uses his size to win puck battles along the boards and he doesn't shy away from
playing the body.
One of the most important traits scouts look for, in my
opinion, is hockey sense. This is one of Griffin's
biggest assets. He is very trustworthy in his own end and his hockey IQ seems
to superior to many of his peers.
Reinhart has no definite weaknesses, although his skating
could improve. His offensive game is not fully formed, but another year of
coaching by Derek Laxdal should help.
Through one regular season game, Reinhart has one assist and
two penalty minutes. He numbers should drastically improve and he could be the
top offensive defenseman in the WHL.
Realistically, the Islanders could be seeing Griffin
Reinhart skate on Long Island next season. Snow made a
great selection, and Reinhart could be a quarterback on the powerplay for New
York for quite some time.
The Prospect Preview will return Monday. On that edition, we will preview Anaheim Ducks prospects Rikard Rakell.