Things are looking good for the future of the New York Islanders blueline when you have Travis Hamonic as a top four guy, Calvin de Haan (yet to appear on this Top 25 Islanders Under 25 countdown) looking like his ideal partner, and our panel tossing back and forth whether Griffin Reinhart or Ville Pokka have more promise.
Temper those expectations though: They can't all be Brian Strait.
Reinhart, who's yet to appear in the pros, slips in at #6 just ahead of Pokka (who has) in a close vote.
Here's how we ranked him. As the low voter, I'll just say I'm high on Reinhart, but even higher -- for now -- on a couple of guys (one who is a forward) who have already shown impressive offensive production at the pro level. But here are the rankings and rationale from the group:
|CIL||Keith||Mike B.||Mark||Mike L.||Chris||Dom|
He gets the nod over Pokka partially because he's been playing in North America all his life, and partially because he's all I've heard about the past month.
In my eyes, he seemed vastly improved with the puck from last year's WJC to this year's. Impressed me with his shot from the point as well. Add all that to his defensive ability and you've got yourself a first rate prospect.
If Ville is the modern, smaller Morrow, then Griff could be the modern, taller Stefan Persson. That ain't too shabby. He seems like the higher-risk, higher-ceiling guy out of the bumper crop of blueliners Garth drafted in 2012. I think he can evolve into a first-pair guy, but even a top-flight second pair and special teams contributor would be a good asset for the Isles.
Looks like he's going the Hamonic route, which is just fine with me. Any offense he adds will just be a bonus.
Big D Griff looks ready to start the show after leading his Oil Kings to the WHL and Memorial cup championships.
Unless we trade him because he's good, but not for a lot, because he's not worth it. #LHHtradethreads
Has there ever been a D prospect who has been over analyzed as much as Reinhart? Not much to add here, but I will say, I was very impressed with Reinhart's defensive positioning and play at the WJC, especially his use of his stick to make defensive plays. One in particular, where Reinhart rendered an opponent impotent at the side of the net while killing a penalty, is etched in my mind.
Whatever his offensive ceiling, Reinhart is going to be a large man in the NHL, and projects to at least be a minutes muncher who is above average defensively. He's a commodity the Isles need.