The New York Islanders have quietly assembled one of the finer pipeline pools of defensive prospects in the NHL, and there's a good chance one of them will help fortify the back end this season.
Griffin Reinhart, a 2012 first-round selection (No. 4), provides the organization with a 6-foot-4, 205-pound shutdown defenseman mature beyond his years. But Reinhart is one of several top defenders in the system, leaving general manager Garth Snow and his staff with some tough decisions to make in September.
The Islanders already have Calvin de Haan, 23; Travis Hamonic, 23; Thomas Hickey, 25; Kevin Czuczman, 23; and TJ Brennan, 25; also in the hunt for positions along the blue line this season. Lubomir Visnovsky is expected to serve as the veteran presence on defense.