Reinhart Sent Back To Juniors With Clutterbuck Set To Make His Return

Griffin Reinhart's early tenure with the New York Islanders was so short lived that most fans probably didn't even notice him on the ice.

Well, that's because he never dressed. 

While the Isles went 2-0-1 to start the season, Reinhart remained with the team after training camp but never left the press-box. The possibility that Reinhart could have dressed was always there, but head coach Jack Capuano elected to continue each game with a winning (or close to it) line-up. 

As a result, Reinhart did not see any NHL action. With Cal Clutterbuck removed from the Injured Reserve, it was only logical to send Reinhart back to his junior team, the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL, to perform as a top defenseman on a nightly basis. 

Per the New York Islanders official press release:

First-Round Pick In 2012 Returned To Junior Club

UNIONDALE, NY (October 9, 2013) – The New York Islanders announced today that defenseman Griffin Reinhart has been returned to his junior club, the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League.

Reinhart, 19, appeared in four exhibition games with the Islanders this preseason, recording two points (one goal and one assist) with a plus-2 rating. The North Vancouver, BC, native remained with the Islanders through the first three games of the regular season, but did not appear in a game.

The Islanders selected Reinhart in the first round, fourth overall, of the 2012 National Hockey League Draft. He scored 29 points (eight goals and 21 assists) in 59 games last year during his third season with Edmonton (WHL) and his first as team captain. Reinhart added seven points (three goals and four assists) in 12 WHL playoff games, before suffering a foot injury in Game 3 of the Conference Finals that forced him to miss the remainder of the postseason.

In 164 career WHL games, Reinhart has 90 points (26 goals and 64 assists) with 109 penalty minutes. He helped Edmonton win the WHL Championship in 2011-12. Reinhart joined the Vancouver Northwest Giants in 2009-10 and captured a B.C. Major Midget League Championship. He first played midget at age 14, leading the Hollyburn Huskies to a provincial title in 2008-09 with 18 points in six playoff games.

It won't be long before Reinhart is a full member of this squad. But it was unlikely for him to get any significant ice time that would allow him to develop properly with seven regular defenseman currently with the team. 

Matt Donovan, who has been impressive in the first three games of the year with a goal and an assist, is showing early signs of promise with the club. With Donovan supplying some added offense, Reinhart's time will just have to wait. 

On the other hand, Clutterbuck's physical presence, which was greatly missed during much of last night's 6-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, will be an added bonus to what has already been a successful line-up. 

-Rob McGowan