Found August 23, 2013 on Sports Blog Net:
[caption id="attachment_155" align="alignleft" width="300"] image provided by kuklaskorner.com[/caption] We have finally reached the top three prospects, and coming in at number three on Islander Country's Top Ten Prospects in the Islanders' System is 2012 first round pick (fourth overall), Canadian defenseman, Griffin Reinhart. Reinhart, tops an impressive list of prospects on defense that General Manager has stockpiled up and down the Islanders system since 2008. A big defenseman at 6'4", 204 pounds, there is a lot to like about Reinhart's game at both ends of the ice. The biggest attribute Reinhart has is his hockey sense. He is a very smart, cerebral hockey player, especially in the defensive end. Reinhart, plays with poise and calmness in his own end, and rarely gets thrown off his game. He keeps his body and stick positioned well to block shots and close off passing lanes. Ha has a big wing span at 6'4", so it is hard for forwards to get the puck around Reinhart because he keeps himself so well positioned. Reinhart, is also calm with the puck, and makes the smart play to clear the puck out of the zone and rarely turns it over. In three seasons with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League, Reinhart, has never had more than 38 penalty minutes in one season, and this reflects his smart, cool play. For a big skater, Reinhart has good mobility, which is something larger skaters can struggle with as they look awkward skating while maturing and learning the game. Reinhart, uses his mobility to close gaps well. Also, Reinhart knows when to use his speed to join the rush, without compromising the defense. Reinhart, is also a very strong player, which gives him two advantages. On the defensive side, Reinhart uses his strength to keep the crease clear, without being over aggressive, so the goalie can see the puck coming towards him without being screened. On the offensive side, Reinhart uses his strength to get behind his slap shot to produce a hard, heavy shot. Not as hard as fellow prospect Ryan Pulock, but hard enough none the less. There are some limitations to Reinhart's offensive game. Here are Reinhart's stats in three seasons with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League: 2010-2011: 45 games, 6 goals, 19 assists, 25 points, plus 7, 35 PIM. 2011-2012: 58 games, 12 goals, 24 assists, 38 points, plus 23, 38 PIM. 2012-2013: 59 games, 8 goals, 21 assists, 29 points, plus 30, 35 PIM. Reinhart's numbers offensively are not bad, and his slap shot should be good enough to have him on the second power play unit, but he will never have the offensive flair to his game that fellow prospects Calvin de Haan, Ryan Pulock, and Matt Donovan have. That is fine too, because while guys like Donovan, de Haan, and Pulock rack up points, Reinhart can shut down the opposition in his own end. The other part to Reinhart's game he needs to work on is the physical element. For such a strong, big player, Reinhart does not throw his body around. With his size and strength, Reinhart could be a very imposing physical defenseman if he threw some big hits during a game. He does not have to change his game drastically and Reinhart plays strong in front of the net, but the occasional big hit thrown could make him a scary defenseman for the opposition to face. As Reinhart continues to mature and add muscle (he is still only 19 and 204 pounds), we could see more of the physical element from him. When training camps open in a few weeks, Reinhart likely will get a chance to compete for the one open spot the Isles have on defense. With other defensemen further along their development and closer to being NHL ready, Reinhart will have to really impress to stick around. The Isles could keep him around for opening night to sit in the press box for a few games like they did with Ryan Strome a few years ago, then send Reinhart back to juniors, which is where he likely ends up for a fourth season with the Oil Kings. With so many defensemen closer to being NHL ready, there is no need to rush Reinhart's development. Let him play in juniors for one more season where he can play major minutes and work on his game, then sign him to an ATO and get a handful of games in with Bridgeport towards the end of the season once the Oil King's season ends. Reinhart, has all the tools and intangibles to be in the NHL, and if he continues to develop properly this year, the Isles will have a future rock solid, top four defenseman capable of playing major minutes and in all situations ready to play on Long Island in the near future. What do you guys think about Reinhart? Is he our best prospect on defense? Are you excited to see him when he finally arrives on Long Island? Let's hear what you have to say in comments! Check out the list so far: The Honorable Mentions Number 10: Johan Sundstrom Number 9: Andrey Pedan Number 8: Matt Donovan Number 7: Anders Lee Number 6: Calvin de Haan Number 5: Ville Pokka Number 4: Ryan Pulock Look for number two to be revealed on Monday, as we finish up our top ten list. After we reveal number one next week, we will start to preview the season ahead! Follow me on twitter: @ed_omalley
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