Islanders Top 25 Under 25: Big all-around D Griffin Reinhart at #9

"How glad are you that you're not a Penguin?" - Bruce Bennett

Last summer's top pick sneaks into our top 10 after another strong junior season.

Potential.

That's how Griffin Reinhart, still in the WHL and likely to be there again next season, lands above some older players already making pro salaries on our Top 25 Islanders Under 25 countdown.

Reinhart qualifies as one of those defensemen who's good at everything and could become an all-situations defenseman in the NHL. The offensive side of his game won't be prolific -- he's not a flashy puck-rusher -- but he handles the puck calmly with good decisions and is not out of place on the power play.

Meanwhile, his defensive reads and efficient movements have people thinking he should be a top four for sure, maybe even a top pair guy in the NHL. His size (6'4) and strength are obvious, but he doesn't go out of his way (read: out of position) just to make big hits. That leaves people wanting more "nastiness" given his frame, though that may be a luxury that takes a back seat to playing the rest of the position well.

It was a good first post-draft season for Reinhart, selected fourth overall in the 2012 draft. He captained a great WHL club in Edmonton and was a key part of Team Canada's defense at the World Junior Championship. (However, he received a four-game suspension for a rather fluke high-stick, a suspension that will carry over three games into next winter's tournament.)

Unfortunately for Reinhart, his season ended in the playoffs with this. The torn ligament in his foot from a cut probably costs him a couple of months of training and body development, another factor in his bid for a spot with the Islanders next year.

Reinhart knows it will be another big year for him and a return to Edmonton for a fourth WHL season is possible, however. And thanks to the legendary CHL-NHL agreement for juniors his age, a transition through the AHL in 2013-14 is not on the table.

Here is how our panel of punditry ranked Reinhart this spring:

CIL KQ MikB Mark David MikeFIG Chris Dom
8 10 10 6 9 10 11 11

And a few rationales from the panel on why they placed him where they did:

Chris McNally:

Just on the outside of the Top 10 (in my book), Reinhart has the size and the skill, but still needs a couple years before he'll be ready to contribute in the NHL. Very sound defensively, his offensive game isn't as prevalent as you'd expect from a Top 5 pick. I was impressed by his WJC play in the defensive end, although a guy of his size needs to play a bit more physical. Reinhart also has a nice shot from the point which could eventually land him on the point during the power play.

Mike o' FIGs:

He's likely going to be a solid d-man in this league. From the reports by those who watch him, he doesn't have any big flaws.

David Hanssen:

Big body, has a chance to be a very good all around defenseman.

So there you have it. Reinhart is probably still a year or two away, but his potential and importance in the Isles' long-term plans has him high on the radar for our 25U25.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Lighthouse Hockey

You must be a member of Lighthouse Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lighthouse Hockey. You should read them.

Join Lighthouse Hockey

You must be a member of Lighthouse Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lighthouse Hockey. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker