Will Griffin Reinhart Make The Cut?

Despite the New York Islanders still needing to add a top-four defenseman to their blue line to help ensure themselves a chance at making the playoffs next season, they still have an abundance of d-men that are ready to compete for a regular spot in the line-up.

Travis Hamonic, Calvin de Haan, Lubomir Visnovsky, and Thomas Hickey are likely four guaranteed defenseman to play on a nightly basis. Matt Carkner, Matt Donovan and Brian Strait are three blue liners that will play as well, solidifying six defenseman with one ready to sit and play when called upon.

And then there is Griffin Reinhart.

Reinhart was the fourth overall pick in 2012 and has been playing for the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL for the past five years. He's scored 111 points in 209 WHL games played and has the makings for a potential top pairing defenseman.

At twenty years old, Reinhart is ready to make the jump from the Junior ranks to professional hockey. But will he be playing next season with the New York Islanders or the Bridgeport Sound Tigers?

With all of the aforementioned defenseman ready for roster spots, Reinhart will have plenty of competition going against him when it comes time to put on that orange and blue sweater.

There is little reason to doubt that Reinhart possesses more overall skill than Donovan, Carkner and Strait, but those three have prior NHL experience. Reinhart does not. Therefore, the Islanders do not have to rush Reinhart to the NHL

Regardless of whether or not Reinhart impresses the coaching staff enough to allow him to make the team, they may still start him in Connecticut so he can adjust to the professional game. 

And if Snow does manage to pull in that added defenseman that this team seriously needs, it will only decrease the need for Reinhart to begin as a full-time NHL'er.

-Rob McGowan


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