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#9 - Griffin Reinhart

The former Oil King make his first appearance on our list.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

This past offseason has been quite an interesting one in Oil Country, and when the Oilers moved the 16th and 33rd overall picks to the New York Islanders, fans were rather surprised. Ryan Batty wrote about the trade here.

C&B Rankings:

Ben

Curtis

Jeff

Matt

Ryan

Scott

Shona

Sunil

Zsolt

Zach

10

8

9

9

9

8

8

9

11

8

Last years rank: Not rated.

Deservingly so, those are two expensive draft picks to be giving up for a player still in development, but Reinhart was a fourth overall draft choice in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Instead of using the picks on players in the draft, the Oilers instead acquired a defenceman who is a few years ahead of anyone coming out of the draft and someone who has all of the necessary tools to play in the top four in the NHL.

Courtesy of Defending Big D: Scouting Report (Mid Term Rankings)

Reinhart continues to be a prospect that you wish just could be physical more often, and while that aspect of his game can be frustrating, he still has a number of tools which make him a high-end prospect. Reinhart has a very heavy point shot and makes good first passes while being equally effective in the offensive and defensive ends. Has a good feel for when to jump into the rush. Reinhart at times seems disinterested in the game and could benefit from showing more competitiveness and emotion in his game. He's got all the tools to be a high-end NHL defenseman, but he needs to use them more consistently.

Last Word On Sports

Reinhart comes from good bloodlines as he is the son of former Calgary Flames Defenceman Paul Reinhart. Reinhart is already 6'4 and over 200 lbs, he is huge, and is a physically intimidating presence in the defensive zone. He's a heavy, hitter and is physically punishing to opposition forwards. Reinhart is a true shut down defenceman, with excellent positioning in the his own zone, and his big frame and long stick allow him to block shots and cut down passing lanes. He also uses his great size and strength to keep the Oil Kings' crease clear, and is very effective in doing so.

If you follow Edmonton's hockey teams in any manner, you'll know that Reinhart was a key piece of the 2014 WHL Memorial Cup Champion Edmonton Oil Kings. There is no doubt that the team has been infatuated with Reinhart ever since.

More recently, Reinhart has been a member of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers where he dressed in 59 games last season, scoring seven goals and 15 assists. His time there had been highly criticized, however Connecticut News' Michael Foranbaio said he wasn't as down as Reinhart, and felt it would be difficult to live up to the standard of being a 4th overall pick. His stats can be seen here.

Reinhart has a lot to prove. His NHL game isn't quite ready to flourish in the show and will likely need another year of seasoning with Bakersfield this year.