TANGLED UP IN BLUE

The Edmonton Oilers finally got their man. Back in 2012, the rumors had the club split among three players at the top of that year’s draft: Nail Yakupov, who they chose; Ryan Murray, who Scott Howson chose for the Blue Jackets and Reinhart, whose toughness and size have extreme value for the Oilers organization. Today, Griffin Reinhart moves into a new phase of his career, playing for a team that may find room for him as early as October.

Reinhart arrives to a grand opportunity in Edmonton. The club has some impressive youth (Darnell Nurse, Oscar Klefbom) and based on the value given in the deal last night Peter Chiarelli believes Reinhart can be a piece of equal or near value moving forward.

WHAT KIND OF PLAYER IS HE?

Reinhard is a very physical defenseman, plays with an edge and has a mean streak. He’ll block shots, kill penalties and can jump into the play. His passing is good, but he doesn’t have the creativity of (say) father Paul Reinhart in his prime. Griffin Reinhart was a terrific junior player and is now making the difficult jump to pro. How did he do in the AHL last season?

  • Corey Pronman, ESPN:He played very well when I saw
    Bridgeport this year. I don’t think he’s a blow you away elite
    prospect but he’s certainly a top-end one. Points don’t fully show his impact at that level because defense is a big part of his game. I think he’ll be an NHLer next year if the depth chart allows it.” Source

The Oilers believe that too, or we wouldn’t be seeing this kind of a trade. It brings some interesting questions to the forefront, including what to do with Martin Marincin, where Darnell Nurse begins his pro career, and can any of the three youngsters (Klefbom, Nurse, Reinhart) play right side? Hat tip to Jonathan Willis for tracking down the fact GR played 20 games right-side in Bridgeport last season. Source

EDMONTON LIKES HIM A LOT

WHAT I THINK

For me, there’s no issue in acquiring big players—size, grit and intimidation remains a big part of the game. However, the big players procured by Edmonton this century who have size have been found lacking in other areas. Griffin Reinhart is a big player who should be able to play in the NHL during some big-game moments. Tough ZS’s, penalty-kill, that kind of thing. He isn’t going to wow you with his offense, that isn’t the heart of his game. It is interesting to see where his offense came from one year ago:

  • Overall (AHL) 59GP, 7-15-22 .373
  • Power Play 59GP, 2-8-10 .169
  • Even Strength 59GP, 5-7-12 .203

That compares with Edmonton prospect Jordan Oesterle, also an AHL rookie in 2014-15:

  • Overall (AHL) 65GP, 8-17-25 .385
  • Power Play 65GP, 1-5-6 .092
  • Even Strength 65GP, 6-12-18 .273

I doubt Reinhart gets a lot of power play time and much of his value comes from defensive play but it is interesting to look at the numbers here an contemplate his future with the Oilers. Offensively, he looks third pairing from here, but TOI one suspects he’s going to get plenty of PK time and will be a rock at even strength. His outer-marker? Barrett Jackman, with perhaps a slice of Chris Phillips’ flair for jumping up into the play.

Reinhart’s mobility takes him beyond the NHL defenseman who we’re seeing leave the game and projects him into a more prominent role where speed, quick decisions and some puck-moving ability are required. The Oilers clearly feel he will have a long career in Edmonton and if they’re patient one suspects the big man will find his way.

The organization would do themselves an enormous favor by finding him a veteran mentor to play alongside. One wonders if that player is out there today, my guess is he was more available yesterday for a package resembling the one Peter Chiarelli dealt for Reinhart.

  • Spydyr

    Oilers get Talbot!!
    Reinhart is a Defenseman with 3 years development. That’s a good thing. Better than “what might be ” 3 years down the road. I’ll wait and see before judgment on Reinhart.

  • Strange Tamer

    Decent trade, it just looks sad in comparison to the Hamilton deal, but it is not the Oilers or Reinharts fault the Bruins got totally fleeced by Calgary. In a few years we will be happy with Reinhart and the Bruins will be in an infinibuild.

  • Ndustry

    Feeling better about the trade this morning. At first glance yesterday it appeared to be a MacT/Howson influenced deal which brought out all the negative emotions of the MacT/KLowe old guard.However looking at GR’s skills and size, I’m liking the trade better . As well,I like the addition of Talbot this morning. guarantees us the best goaltending in at least 3 years.

  • Chris.

    I honestly cannot stand most oiler fans on these blogs. PC is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. I’m sure every team would love to go get a bonafide defenseman but it’s nearly impossible, and to say we missed out on Hamilton is crazy. If they wanted nurse than screw it go for a young griffin. its obvious Boston did not want to deal with a fresh ex GM. Nobody knows the full details of what went down so instead of pointing fingers just be glad we got a promising shut down defenseman with attitude that will play for years. Im just glad he did something and not nothing like past management. Now time to sign some ufa and we should have a respectable D with amazing offensive tools. Next year we can try and upgrade positions more.

  • Oiler Fan 16

    Chiarelli maybe has a secret development system for big, mobility challenged d-men. See boychuk, McQuaid, Chara, Hamilton as perfect examples.

    Hope springs eternal at the moment.

  • Bandwagon jumper

    I like the trades.
    Time is now. 4 number one picks. Time to fill out the roster and win a few more games this year. Its not all going to happen in one draft day.
    Griffin has a great opportunity coming back to Edmonton and working with some familiar faces that believe in him.
    Culture shock after so many losing years worried about prospects.
    Nice to see the Oilers enter a different phase of the rebuild.
    That McDavid guy is not too bad either.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    For does who question or knock the Reinhart deal, please tell who the D man they should have drafted instead and who would be NHL ready in the next two years???

    Reinhart needs to sped this summer at power skating.. improve his speed and pivoting.

    PS; What the ….. is Lowe Blow still at the table?? Did he not move on from hockey Ops.?

  • Chris.

    I rather have 2 blue chip prospects in Ilya Samsonov (future number1 goalie) and Brandan Carlo (tough right handed shutdown dman) then a questionable Griffen Reinhart. MacT and Howson have there fingerprints all over this trade and why are they both still in this organization blows my mind

  • Chris.

    Horrible drafting buy the Oilers. Horrible deal #16 + #33 for a hope. In a strong draft Oilers trade top assets for ?. Oilers rebuild continues ,Calgary laughing at how inept Oilers are.

  • smith

    I see a lot of negativity with this deal I for one think it was a smart move to make. There is always more hype over a guy who flashes and produces offence and people tend to underrate the line mates of these guys who control and maintain the defencive Zion’s while that is going on look at Brent sea brook and Keith. The other big aspect of this is how many scouts had visits with the people who were left on the board during that stretch. PC listened to his guys who have experience in working with them (bob green was his GM for a time) and they had the book on this guy I think it works and fits good job PC keep it up.

  • smith

    PC needed to add size and grit on the back end and did. He also needed a goalie he did that the best available for a song and dance. As far as GR goes big tough kid with a heart unmatched going to bring a lot in future also never gave anything up with other high end prospects. I think we still need a short term #1 d as three others are being built but all in all we look better at this point then we did last year thing are turning around. Go Mc David hall nudge ebs and go oilers