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2012 NHL Draft Class: Griffin Reinhart

by Kristi Hennessy / Winnipeg Jets

The Reinhart family has hockey in their blood and Griffin Reinhart is the next branch on the family tree to be drafted into the NHL. He is the son of former Calgary Flames defenceman Paul Reinhart and has two brothers Sam and Maxwell who are also following in their father’s hockey footsteps. Both brothers currently play for the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League. The oldest of the three Maxwell, was drafted in round three (64th overall), at the 2010 NHL Draft by the Calgary Flames. The youngest brother Sam, will become draft eligible at the 2013 NHL Draft.

NHL Central Scouting ranks Griffin at 10th overall for the coming 2012 NHL Draft.

Reinhart is a big shutdown defenceman with offensive potential. He is already 6’4 and over 200 pounds, which is one of his biggest advantages when you look at this class of stacked blueliners.

“I think that we all bring a different part of the game that can help an NHL team down the road in all different ways,” said Reinhart. “The one thing I keep saying is that I have the height right now... and until the other guys grow, I think that’s an advantage for me.”

Reinhart explains his style of play as a two-way defenceman who uses his big frame very well both in front of the net blocking shots and throwing himself into crushing hits along the boards.

“I like to think I’m a two-way defenceman and I think my strength would probably be in the defensive zone. I play a good positional game with a good stick and I think I’m finding the ability to jump up in the rush a lot more often now.”

One element of his game that he is very proud of is his ability to keep composure on the ice and not make many mistakes or take undisciplined penalties- something he attributes to his father.

“I think part of it is that it was passed down genetically from my dad,” said Reinhart. “ I’ve seen the way he plays and I can play a similar style of game. My personality off ice is also pretty similar to how it is on the ice. I think that’s an asset of my game and also one of the flaws I’m always working on.”

Reinhart began his junior career in 2009-10 when he played just two games at the WHL level. He has been steadily improving with the Oil Kings over the last two seasons, most notably in the second half of this season and into the 2012 playoffs.

Through the 58 regular season games this year, he tallied 12 goals and 24 assists for a 36-point season with an impressive plus-23 rating. The Edmonton Oil Kings played 20 WHL playoff games, and won the WHL Championship title to earn a berth in the Memorial Cup. They beat Shawinigan in the round-robin but fell to them in the tie-breaking game. Reinhart tallied eight points in the WHL playoffs and added a goal and an assist in the four Memorial Cup games.

“I think since Christmas when some of the guys left for the World Juniors my role stepped up a little bit and it elevated all the way to the playoffs and even more there,” explained Reinhart. “I think I’ve come a long way and I think my skating has improved a lot this year.”

The 18-year-old West Vancouver product interviewed with 21 NHL teams at the NHL Scouting Combine earlier this month in preparation of the coming NHL Draft.

“Any Canadian team would be amazing to go to, being a Canadian hometown boy,” Reinhart said about the upcoming NHL Draft in Pittsburgh. “As for Winnipeg, I have a couple of teammates who love it there, especially now that hockey is back. It would be a big honour to play there.”

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