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Reinhart replaces injured Ryan Murray in Super Series

by Mike G. Morreale
The Canadian Hockey League on Thursday announced a roster replacement and additions for the Western Hockey League team that will play the Russians in the 2011 Subway Super Series on Nov. 16 in Regina and Nov. 17 in Moose Jaw.

Griffin Reinhart, Edmonton Oil Kings defenseman
Everett Silvertips defenseman Ryan Murray, originally scheduled to participate with Team WHL on Nov. 16, will be sidelined the next five weeks with a sprained ankle suffered in an 8-2 loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings on Oct. 19. Prior to the injury, he had 3 goals and 6 points in 10 games.

Murray will be replaced in the lineup by fellow 2012 draft-eligible prospect Griffin Reinhart of the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Also added to the Team WHL roster to compete in Regina is the Kelowna Rockets' Brett Bulmer and Zach Franko, along with Kamloops Blazers' Colin Smith. For the final game of the series on Nov. 17, the WHL added the Oil Kings' Michael St. Croix and Cody Beach of the Moose Jaw Warriors.

While the team loses an extremely reliable defensive-defenseman in Murray, Reinhart will bring a bit of an edge along the blueline.

He's already earning comparisons to Nashville's Shea Weber with his hulking size (6-foot-4, 210 pounds) and tremendous mobility in the back end. His father is former NHL defenseman Paul Reinhart, who scored 560 points over 11 seasons and 648 games with the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. His older brother, Max, a third-round pick (No. 64 overall) of the Calgary Flames in 2010, began his fourth season with the WHL's Kootenay Ice in 2011-12.

Reinhardt will no doubt receive much more ice time in his second full season with the Oil Kings after notching six goals, 25 points, 36 penalty minutes and a plus-7 rating in 46 games as a rookie last year. He has produced 2 goals, 6 points, 9 penalty minutes and a plus-2 rating in 11 games for the Oil Kings this season.

"He's a big package and knows how to use it," MacDonald said. "He's very strong in the corners and battles in front of his own net. He's solid one-on-one, can eliminate opposing forwards convincingly and is physically strong in all areas of the ice.

"He'll develop into a rock solid, big presence for an NHL team … he has huge upside."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
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