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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

THN on Griffin Reinhart

via yahoo sports canada...

<<Reinhart a tower of power

If you like hockey, the junior ranks are more than happy to help, even if their big brother is fighting dad over allowance money right now. All three CHL circuits are playing pre-season games now, while tourneys in Europe provide another outlet. Here's a look at some of the kids we're excited to see in the NHL one day.

Griffin Reinhart, D – Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

One of the highest risers in the 2012 draft, Reinhart parlayed his size, skill and playoff success into top-five status amid a defense-heavy crop. His 6-foot-4, 202-pound frame and NHL bloodlines (Paul's middle son) make him an obvious candidate for greatness, but a wrist injury put a damper on his first full season in the Western League. Reinhart rebounded in 2011-12 by doubling his goal output to 12 and helping the Oil Kings to their first 'Dub' title.

"The first year is more about getting comfortable," Reinhart said. "But all through the playoffs and Memorial Cup this year I feel I really picked up my game and my intensity shot up, making me a better player."

Though Edmonton this year will be without key defender Mark Pysyk, who leaves for the pros, Reinhart believes last season provided some nice challenges and benchmarks.

"Just before Christmas we had a big homestand and won 11 in a row," he said. "Going into the holidays, some of the guys went off to the world juniors and we were able to step up, which gave us a lot of confidence."

Along with his size, Reinhart also has the hockey IQ inherited from his dad. His brothers play for Kootenay (older bro Max is a Calgary prospect, younger Sam is an elite talent draft eligible in 2014) and Griffin is the only blueliner in the bunch.

"I'm a two-way defender, able to shut down offensive guys on the other team," he said. "I'm a pretty simple player – not too flashy but I get the job done."

Reinhart wants to be more vocal this season and take on a bigger leadership role. With a WHL title and Memorial Cup experience already under his belt, he's in good shape to talk the talk. Drafted fourth overall by the New York Islanders in 2012.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

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