The New York Islanders opened up their preseason schedule in two split squad games against the Calgary Flames. The Islanders dropped both games, one in Calgary by a 5-3 score, and the other in Regina, Saskatchewan, by a 4-2 score. In the game in Calgary, it was an explosion by the Flames in the 2nd period that did in the Islanders. There had been a few bright spots to come out of that game in Calgary. One of those bright spots was the play of young defenseman Griffin Reinhart.
Reinhart was taken 4th overall in the 2012 NHL draft and is now entering his first training camp, trying to win a spot on the Islanders roster. Reinhart gave the Islanders some momentum heading into the second intermission, cutting the deficit to two goals. It was a pretty rush up the left side where he deked his defender and fired a shot high, beating goalie Joey MacDonald at 19:52 of the middle frame. It was his first goal at the professional level and a nifty one at that. Total during the game, Reinhart played 15:49, playing alongside fellow rookie Ryan Pollack. Reinhart took one shot in the game and it went in. He managed to stay out of the penalty box and played a very solid game in his own end of the rink.
Reinhart has good size, standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing about 207 pounds. He can move the puck well and is a great skater, skills which were evident last night. Reinhart shows poise with the puck a little beyond the years of a 19 year old kid. He has a good head on his shoulders and plays a sound positional game.
Those are some solid numbers for a kid playing in his first preseason game at the pro level. It’s way too early in camp to determine whether or not he will make the team out of camp or even if he will be sent back to juniors or not. You also have to remember that Reinhart, only 19 years old and playing in his first NHL camp, is going up against guys who are not only older, but have more experience playing at the pro level.
There’s no guarantees that Reinhart will make the big club or even make it to the minors this year. But with the showing he had in his first preseason game, Reinhart is going to be one guy to really keep an eye on in camp this year.