Well, today is the day, 2012 NHL Entry Draft is just hours away. So, now to finish up with a couple more prospects. Next up is 18-year-old defenseman from North Vancouver, British Columbia and the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL, defenseman Griffin Reinhart. Reinhart is a big body at 6’4″-207 lbs and shoots left-handed. He is ranked 10th among North American skaters and is the sixth highest rated North American defenseman. His family is actually close with current Florida Panthers defenseman Ed Jovanovski, and he does kind of play like him. NHL scout’s say he resembles Alexander Edler.
His game heavily relies on his size and long reach that makes it very difficult to one-on-one. He anticipates what the offense is going to do very well and displays good hockey instincts. He uses his big body to unload some pretty big slap shots for an 18-year-old. Much like fellow defensive prospect Cody Ceci, Reinhart is very good and covering ground after pinching in the offensive zone. He has good agility and versatility to go along with his very good skating ability. However, during his time with the Oil Kings, there was some concern about Reinhart and the ability that he can play major minutes consistently at the NHL level. He struggled a lot early last season when he logged big minutes. As the season progressed, he did get a bit better but scout’s will question whether or not he can carry a heavy workload just yet. His upcoming season with the Oil Kings will be a good test as to whether Reinhart is ready as he will become the number one defenseman in Edmonton.
In the past season with Edmonton, Reinhart had 12 goals 24 assists for 36 points in 58 games. Those numbers are expected to increase next season as he should get a bigger workload. His size is really attractive as a defenseman prospect. Every team in the league would like to have a guy that big who can be a top-pairing defenseman. It is almost certain that he will return to the Oil Kings, but if he excels in training camp it;s possible he could stay where he is drafted. The Ducks have been rumored to want to get bigger, especially on defense and Reinhart fits. However, I think that the Ducks will only consider Reinhart if either Filip Forsberg or Radek Faksa are already taken. However, it’s the draft and anything is possible.
Here are a couple of videos on Griffin:
Follow me on twitter @ddb_sean!