Griffin Reinhart needs to win a job with the Edmonton Oilers soon


Griffin Reinhart is at something of a crossroads in his NHL career. Recent history suggests that he’ll either establish himself as an NHL player this season, or he won’t do it at all.

Top 15 Defencemen

Reinhart, Griffin

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The following graphic shows the development of every 6’2”-or-taller defenceman drafted out of Canadian major junior with a top-15 pick at the NHL Draft between 2001 and 2011. The number in each case indicates the 82-game scoring rate of the player, and the colour of the box indicates league (white, blue and orange representing major junior, the AHL and the NHL, respectively). The league each player played the most games in is pictured.

12.1.15 Reinhart comps

If the chart seems familiar, it’s likely because I’ve posted less elaborate versions of it before. Back in 2014, when the idea of swapping Edmonton’s third overall pick (Leon Draisaitl) to New York for Reinhart’s rights was bouncing around the media echo chamber, I argued that such a deal would be a terrible idea. I brought it out again in the summer Reinhart was acquired, noting that several good NHL defencemen had faced similar developments curves.

This is the first time I’ve included every player, though, to provide an idea of what the expected development curve should be for a defenceman picked in this range.

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Reinhart’s Family

The players boxed off in the middle represent the group that has had a similar development curve to Reinhart. The players in the top-third can be safely ignored because they were all firmly established NHL players by this point in their respective careers. The players in the bottom-third can also be ignored, as they didn’t come close to matching Reinhart’s offence as an AHL rookie.

That leaves seven others. Here’s where they were at the end of their respective Draft+4 seasons:

  • Karl Alzner: Played 20+ minutes per game in nine of his 10 final NHL games. High: 30:13; Low: 18:19.
  • Braydon Coburn: Played 20+ minutes per game in seven of his final 10 NHL games. High: 25:26; Low: 18:18.
  • Jared Cowen: A unique case because he was hurt for a good chunk of the year. He played 20+ minutes in three of his final 10 NHL games. High: 26:04; Low: 14:41.
  • Keaton Ellerby: Played 20+ minutes per game in two of his final 10 NHL games. High: 22:05; Low: 15:32.
  • Griffin Reinhart: Played 20+ minutes per game in zero of his last 10 NHL games. High: 19:27; Low: 12:45.
  • Jamie Oleksiak: Played 20+ minutes per game in zero of his final 10 NHL games. High: 16:53; Low: 12:21.
  • Colten Teubert: Played 20+ minutes per game in zero of his final 10 NHL games. High: 14:31; Low: 8:23..
  • Brandon Gormley: Played just five NHL games. High: 19:04; Low: 11:49.

Reinhart has time here. An AHL assignment is a temporary thing, and he’ll almost certainly be back on the other side of the trade deadline if not earlier. He has a few months to continue to develop before he’ll be at the same place that the list above was for their final 10 games in the NHL of their Draft+4 seasons.

But the message here seems pretty clear. If he’s to keep up with the Coburn/Alzner duo, the last two guys on this list to make the cut as top-four NHL defencemen (though the window is perhaps not entirely closed for Cowen and Oleksiak) he needs to be playing 20+ minutes per game regularly by the end of the season.

If he isn’t a top-four defender by that point, he starts looking a lot more like Ellerby than a player with a bright NHL future.

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Update: There’s been lots of push-back to the sentiments expressed in this piece, and I’ve asked readers who think I’m wrong on this to find an example of a player who was drafted early and wasn’t a top-four defenceman by his Draft+4 season but who went on to have a top-four NHL career.

Ed in PV (comment no. 39) suggests Thomas Hickey. Hickey (picked 4th overall in 2007) took a long time to arrive in the NHL and still hasn’t been a top-four defenceman in the majors, but he was a solid No. 6 for a very good Islanders team last year. 

Saytalk (comment no. 109) has some strong counter-arguments here. He went back prior to 2001 and dug up some older players – Nick Boynton, Ron Hainsey and Bryan Allen – who were picked early, took a long time developing and still managed to play some seasons as top-four defencemen. We don’t have any more recent examples, but these players certainly demonstrate that it’s possible to both be an early pick and be a late-bloomer. 

Further suggestions are welcome. 


    • bradleypi

      This all day.^^ Classic oilersnation. Just because he wasn’t drafted by the oilers and his name isn’t klefbom, Davidson or nurse, he must be a bust. I thought at the start of the season he should have been in the minors anyway. Along with nurse and Davidson. Instead of exposing them to this gong show of a team. Would ference and nikitin look so bad right now instead of having their contracts just waste away giving oilersnation more ammo to whine about? I couldn’t imagine a worse start to the season and it all started with someone getting the C stripped off them. I’ve never seen a team come together after that happens. But oilersnation thought it was a great plan…..

      • Soiled Trousers

        You sir are a stooge. A clown fool stooge. I don’t know what the hell you are ranting about in ninety percent of your comments. The oxygen you are sucking up would be better used lighting farts.

        • bradleypi

          Real solid contribution man. I like how you think you’re so much better than people by insulting them over the Internet. Good stuff! Keep it classy bro!

          • Soiled Trousers

            Oh don’t worry, I know I’m dumb and there are very few people I would consider myself “better than”. I’m just saying I don’t know what the hell you are talking about. Other than your huge Jultz boner I don’t know who you even like on the Oilers. Whenever there is a comment critical of a players performance you spaz out and go on rants about other players. Take today’s article. Its about Reinhart but you are ranting about Nurse then seem to suggest the Oilers should be player Ferrence and Nikki. What the hell does that have to do with Reinhart. Do you dislike Nurse? Do you think Ferrence should be playing? I just don’t know man.

          • bradleypi

            Ya. If you actually read any of my comments and especially the earlier one today,I do think that nurse, Reinhart and Davidson should be in the minors and ference and nikitin should be playing and earning their contracts. What would the difference be? The oilers lose every night with young guys or they lose every night with old guys. Reinhart wasn’t ready to play on the islanders last year in the playoffs. Why would he be ready here?

          • bradleypi

            At least I have an opinion about the oilers unlike 2 guys that are just here to insult and judge people on an Internet forum sitting high on your thrones. I especially love that lie about how I went on a “rant” about nurse. I think he’s gonna be a great hockey player. Maybe you hero’s could refresh my memory on what I said about him? Unless you’re making things up for cheers????? I think a couple guys might be craving some validation in their lives

  • Craig1981

    I feel like the point production isn’t a baseline since griffin will never put up points. If he plays a hard 20 points a year on a solid 4th line that’s a win.

      • Soiled Trousers

        Musil was a bad pick (picked because of his dad and played for the Oilkings)… especially since Saad (who expected to go in the 1st round) was still there in the 2nd round.

        I think Musil was expected to go late 2nd round early 3rd…

  • I’m not sure if any of you caught this, but when we traded for griffen, they interviewed our head scout, mr green, and when asked about his sturggles this season, he said ” oh I haven’t seen him play at all this year, but I know him good from his day with the oil kings”


    quick reminder that johnny boychuk AND nick leddy were had for 3 second rounders and a 3rd

    • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

      This is so true of so much the Team does and has done. In business you hire people based on what they have done. The interview is all about “Can I work with you” not can you do the job. Yet we have hired and fired coaches (Under MacT)based on interviews not the record or improvement of the team. We draft people based on old data or no Data (I saw him a year ago). The part about this that I can not understand is that Katz is a successful business man and I am sure he knows how to judge talent. The only conclusion I can come to is it is just part of the legacy remaining from the 80’s and the “you can play hockey so you must be a great judge of hockey talent” mentality.

      This does not disparage the player in question here but due diligence by a scout is critical to choosing players in the draft or getting them in a trade. I hope this player does well and turns in to a top 4 Dman but without doing proper evaluation of the player you are gambling the teams future in far to much a hit or miss method. The last 9 years really tell the story.

  • For Pete's Sake!

    Griffin will be a solid third pairing Dman. Yes Chiarelli probably paid too much for him but so did the Isles taking him 4th overall.

    Like someone here said, he’s the least of our worries.

    It’s time for Chia to do something significant with this team. He’s got to pull the trigger on a major trade soon. Our long suffering fanbase is demanding it.

    Something’s got to change soon to get the “rot” out of the losing culture on this team.

    • petroleumpundit

      The Oil have changed everything other than the “core”. The problem Chia has now is that most of the “core” don’t have much trade value. Would you trade for either RNH, Ebs or even Schultz with their bloated contracts? The only quick fix that Chia has at his disposal is next years 1st, which has a lot of value. He might be able to deal that along with some garbage salary to get something of value. But this won’t happen in season.

    • Harry2

      The rot with the Oilers is the management group. They have not been able to attract skilled veterans or the ones they do attract they have been unable to keep.

      Therefore, they have to play kids who have to play against veteran forwards like Getzlaf, Thornton, Stall, Malkin, Crosby, etc. or defensemen like Keith, Big Buff, Seabrooke, Doughty, etc

      The Oilers need to trade some young skilled players to team that are rebuilding for veteran skilled players who have a few years left.

      The alternative is to wait until the core gets older, Draisaiti, McDavid, Yak, RNH, Klefbom, Nurse, Slepyshev, are all 22 or younger and Hall, Eberle, Davidson, Schutz are all 25 years or younger. I find it very difficult to criticize the players as they have to play against men.

      Simply put, the Oiler are too young to play meaningful games against seasoned veteran teams. It is easy to criticize these young players but nothing will happen until management get some ball and make some trades for veterans. The alternative is to wait until this group gets older, probably 3 – 4 years.

  • BDH

    Griffin is the fourth best defenceman on this team behind Nurse, Sekera and Kelfbom. His play when not partnered with Gryba is fantastic. He is in the minors because he is the only player beside Nurse who could be sent down without being exposed. He is 20 years old.

    This is a sky is falling blog when there are far greater issues to look at.

    • stonedtodeath61

      Really ???? I like the kid and playing a solid defensive game takes a lot longer to learn. So you think he was “fantastic” when not partnered with Gryba. Did you not watch him when paired with Davidson, OMG man you want to see a disaster, try watching him on the ice with Fayne. He needs time in the A.

      • Tell you what, you feel free to go dig through NHL draft history and find somebody picked in Reinhart’s range who took longer than this season to break into an NHL top-four and then went on to have a top-four career.

        I’ll wait.

        • The article is correct and the information is damning. Which makes this trade seem so scary. IMO he should be playing top 4 minutes right now for the next 20 games and see how he does and try to move Jultz. I feel more comfortable with him back there than Fayne or Jutlz to be honest. I also think they somehow make a move to bring in Hamonic which then makes your top 4, Nurse, Kbomb, Hamonic, Griff? pretty young.

        • Well Thomas Hickey comes to mind. A top 5 pick by the Kings in 2007 didn’t play in the NHL until draft plus 6. Not an all star but playing results minutes fore the Isle in the last 2 seasons (only 8 games this year, is he injured??). But he is only 6′, so I guess he doesn’t count.

        • Harry2

          Yes Ed get on it. Find a dman who was born on a Tuesday that has blonde hair and his favourite cereal is Corn Flakes.

          Then make sure hes 6’2″, has green eyes was drafted top15, and likes potato chips.

        • pkam

          This sounds like fun! But how far can we go back? Because I’d propose Paul Mara and Nick Boynton (from the 97 draft), Bryan Allen (98 draft), and Ron Hainsey (2000 draft) as comparable highly drafted defencemen who took longer than draft+4 to get into a top four role but still ended up playing in the top four for most of their careers, albeit on some weaker teams where it was probably easier to get that role.

          • Nicely done!

            I’ll argue Mara (who was an NHL’er in his Draft+3 season) but the other three certainly fit the bill. Boynton was a top-pair guy in Boston for a bit, Allen had a couple of years as a second-pair guy in Florida and Hainsey is one of the weirder defence development stories I’ve ever seen.

            Certainly demonstrates it’s possible.

          • The Goalie 1976

            Now for even more fun.

            question 1) Based on this sample size going back to 1997, what is the comparable number of players meeting this criteria who did not make it?

            question 2) Calculate an odds ratio and 95% confidence interval representing the Odds that a player from this sample who is not established by draft+4 season wont become a top 4 dman in the NHL. Comment on statistical significance.

            Show your work.

            [ /10]

    • BDH

      and why use Top 15 draft pick?

      after the pick is done, it doesn’t matter anymore.

      The question isn’t “Is it a good pick”…its “Is he going to be a nhl player”.

      • The pick matters because it reflects development post-draft day.

        A high pick is rated as close to the NHL; he has a smaller gap to overcome than somebody picked in the sixth round.

        The big development years post-draft are the early ones, between age 18 and 21. So when an early pick can’t make the grade early on, it gets increasingly unlikely that he will ever make the grade, whereas a late pick is coming from so far back that he may have progressed substantially and still not made the majors.

        • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

          So, my question is why did the Oilers burn two significant picks to get a defensmen that another team picked 4th overall 3 years removed from his draft year without red flags , sirens, bells and whistles going off?

          To me, thats the bigger picture.

          • bradleypi

            Jeez why is it such a big deal that he gave up 2 draft picks for 1 player? He wanted Reinhart so he went and got him. There’s no guarantee that barzal or whoever else got picked with the other pick are gonna turn into superstars. I wish Chiarelli would be that aggressive in making other moves to help this team.

          • Benny Botts

            Draft picks are like a shiny present under the tree. Its easy to think a 16th oick and a 2nd rounder are going to be stars (or even play in the NHL) until the wrapper is off and you see what they can really do at that level.

          • It’s not about what those picks become, it’s about paying a top 4 price for a 5-7 defensman. Is it a big deal when it happens once, probably not. It is a problem when it happens repeatedly, and the Oilers have been a dumpster fire of asset management for years.

          • Serious Gord

            They got him because of very poor assessment process ridden by old-boy interference – a system we had hoped had been purged with the hiring of chia.

            And because of it EDM has less asset value aquired for the price paid.

            If that’s the kind of agressive action you want chia will be trading hall for kaberle.

        • pkam

          Not likely doesn’t mean it is impossible.

          Giordano was undrafted and not only make it to NHL but top 2. He was born in 1983 so if he was drafted it would have been 2001. He made NHL in 2006-7 so drafted + 5 or 23 years old. Isn’t he a top 2 defenseman now?

          So a player drafted 15th or above has no chance to make top 4 if he doesn’t make NHL in drafted + 4, but a player drafted later or even undrafted is only unlikely but possible?

  • BubbaZanetti

    I still say it’s not too late for Katz to take this team to Seattle. They’d probably be in the same division. We could get an expansion team and get easy points playing them all year.

    • bradleypi

      These types of comments irritate me greatly. If you have no ideas on what ails the team or how to improve it, and you don’t care if the oilers were gone then why don’t you just go cheer for another team. Nobodies forcing you to be a fan of the oilers. I’m from Saskatchewan and I don’t cheer for the oilers because they are in edmonton. I cheer for them because I grew up watching them. I cheer for the logo. If you dont then there’s lots of teams in the southern states that could use your fair weathered Fandom.

  • Really he has to either make it now or never……..I’m not buying this proposition. If this were remotely true we would have flushed Brandon Davidson long ago……all because of some useless metric you think is relevant?

    No the problem with our defence is competing systems or multiple systems that our players have to learn. I’m convinced that down on the farm they do not play the system that TM is currently using. For lack of a better word, I’m going to call it the bunched up system……..everyone is bunched up around the puck in all three zones.

    I have only watched three games ( Bakersfield) and the systems they use down there are very different to my eye. They do support the puck in similar ways, but not all five players. Methinks that this is haveing an impact on the call-ups and confusing them. It will take time for them to adapt.

    Leave GR on the farm and let him over ripe if need be………the Oilers have no apparent system, five on five, or the PP so no point in developing GR up here any ways!!

    • “Useless metric you think is relevant”?

      Do you mean *the actual performance of players with comparable draft position and development curves*?

      You can yell and scream and whine all you want about the information presented and it’s not going to make it any less true. If you go back and look at guys drafted near where Reinhart was, they either make the cut by the end of this season in their careers or they never do.

      Other than hope, is there any reason to think Reinhart’s the exception to the rule?

      • Players rarely develop in straight lines…….I think Mac T said this?

        Any ways, in my mind GR has arelad made it, he has outplayed Ference, Gryba, and Fayne………the only thing that sends him down to the minors is his contract, not his play.

        • He has a 46.9% Corsi on the season and his only regular partner (Eric Gryba) goes from a 42.4% Corsi when he plays with Reinhart to a 51.9% Corsi when he plays without him. Gryba’s numbers were actually better with Ference this year than they were with Reinhart.

          Lots of people are pushing the “Reinhart was great but blocked” theory. It’s wrong. Reinhart was blocked, yes, but he wasn’t making a compelling case for the Oilers to keep him in the NHL either.

      • Harry2

        Absolutely other than hope there is an answer. Hes currently sitting in the press box on game nights taking up a roster spot with his hideous contract.

        Theres simply no room for Reinhart based on waiver eligibility.

        JW do you believe that GR is not good enough to play in edms top 6? If you do I think your kidding yourself. Reinhart is better than Schultz, Fayne and Gryba

      • DoubleDIon

        Another point to make is that Garth Snow traded him for picks. So he traded a known (his player) for two unknowns (chance to draft some other kids).

        Willis isn’t the only one that thinks he won’t amount to much.

      • XL Lebowski

        Mr. Willis, How do you explain Luc Robitaille being a late round draft choice and making the hockey hall of fame? What did the information presented say about him? Maybe Reinhart has some heart–which is something the numbers can never support. Think of all the great players in all sports who were passed over and not taken number one overall — Warren Moon, Tom Brady etc. How can you so easily write off someone because the analytics don’t support them?

  • freelancer

    Don’t think he has to make it as quickly as you suggest. Like others have said Reinhart is the least of this teams worries right now. Let him develop more in the AHL and go from there.

  • Benny Botts

    JW, you provide many interesting angles to re-look at hockey, but grouping large defensemen is a stretch. Each player above has very unique circumstances, the cap, RHD/LHD, team make up, TOI make teams do weird things.

  • Benny Botts

    @Jonathan Willis
    Very odd article JW…whats the rush for Griffin to play here? I don’t see any harm in him getting another year of seasoning in the AHL. This team has enough inexperience in the line up as it is…

  • The beautiful thing about an argument like this is that it’s relatively easy to prove me wrong.

    All anyone has to do is find a top draft pick on defence who took longer than his Draft+4 season to become a top-four NHL D and then went on to have a distinguished career.

    If you believe in your heart of hearts that I’m wrong to put this timeline on Reinhart, please find a data point that backs up your belief. I’ll both be grateful for the new information and I’ll include it in the article above.

    • Benny Botts

      Run all the analytics that you want JW, each player develops differently. It seems like complete nonsense to peg this year to be the do or die for a 22 year old kid in his second year of pro hockey…pump the breaks man

        • Benny Botts

          Haha make you? Settle down you little number cruncher, this is a debate, not an argument. I will totally agree with some of the stats you analytics guys run but this one is way off base. I feel we need gregor and brownlee here to slap some sense into you analytics people sometimes.

          Also, you keep telling people that disagree with you to come up with the numbers?? Some of us are out working 10-12 hour shifts trying to make a living. Not sitting in our basement in a our pj’s sucking back a cup of joe, playing arm chair GM…

          • Exactly, it’s a debate. I’ve presented facts. You’re welcome to disagree with them, but it’s helpful to have facts of your own if you think I’m wrong.

            If you can’t present contrary fact, all you have is belief without evidence.

          • Benny Botts

            Facts?! Facts?! You ran numbers in a computer man, you are not unearthing anything earth shattering here. You, like anyone else can go put numbers in a computer and run them! You ran it only for defencmen over 6’2…odd, very odd.

          • Actually, I ran it for all defencemen but the comps get ridiculous if you include people like Ryan Ellis and Ryan Murphy. These are completely different player types.

            And yes, facts. I’m looking at how similar defencemen have developed to get an idea of how this one should be expected to develop.

            I like to go on more than gut feel.

          • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

            Many of you are disparaging this article because of the evaluation of the numbers etc. You also state that the article is showing what we all can see. The point here is that when we traded for this player looking at the stats/numbers etc would of told this story. Instead we took “Saw him good a year ago when he was an Oil King” and traded a ton of value for it when we should of offered far less based on the above chart. Yes it may be easy to see now, why was it not easy to see in the summer? Why is a multi-million dollar organization being run this way? That is the reason this article is relevant and important.

          • Ease up on the insults.

            I completely disagree with the contention this season is make or break for Reinhart, but that’s because I see his top end as a second pairing player and his likely settling point as a reliable third-pairing guy, which teams need.

            Reinhart was drafted too high and that clouds the issue. He’s 21 turning 22. Three years from now we’ll be talking about him as a solid 4-5 guy.

          • Benny Botts

            There were no insults thrown…this is just a debate. And I completely agree with you, I just dont understand how this can be an make it or break it year for a 22 year old kid.

          • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

            Mmmmmm, maybe RB, but by that comparison Davidson is tracking as a competent 5-6 defensmen and he’s 24 and growing his game.

            NYI thought enough of Reihart that he was expendable…But why? why trade an asset that has so much pedigree? Unless they found something in his game.

            I look at it this way, Reinhart wasn’t good enough to make the roster on arguable the worse defense in the league….It’s looking a little grim for the guy, unless he can somehow skate faster and become harder to play against I don’t see the transition to 4-5, I see a 6-7 at best.Just my opinion

          • chickenStew

            Ha! You have the nerve to tell him to stop presenting his side of the debate, but no rebuttal WITH data to “make him”, and you get upset??

            Good lesson here about flapping your gums without anything to really say.

          • Puck JammeR!

            Question for Bennybotts … What revelance do the # of hours you work per shift have to do with this argument?using your logic if I work a 14-16 shift are my arguments better than yours? Willis simply asked for an example to back up your position which you didn’t supply. Then you deflect from the debate by making assumptions on Willis’s personal life. ” he who makes the most noise does not win “

    • Your argument is based on such an arbitrary (and in my opinion contrived)criteria than it doesn’t seem valid to me. Top 15 and 6’2″ or taller???

      The implication of you argument is that if GR doesn’t play 20 minutes a night in the NHL this season the Oil should ump him to a 6th round pick ASAP. Do you think anyone should buy this?

      • The argument I’m making is exactly this: If Reinhart isn’t a top-four defenceman by the end of this year, he probably never will be.

        That doesn’t make him useless – you’ve identified Thomas Hickey, who has been a good third-pairing defenceman, as a possibility – it just means he’s not likely to play in the top-four.

        And there’s nothing contrived about either size or draft pick location. Feel free to ignore size (I ran this both ways, and decided that using size made the sample a better fit for Reinhart; otherwise you end up comparing him to people like Ryan Ellis) but draft location has a direct bearing on development curve, as I’ve already explained.

    • bradleypi

      Forgive me if someone mentioned this but what about oilersnation golden boy petry? Drafted in 06 and didn’t play an nhl game till 2010. I don’t know what kinda minutes he was playing that year as I have no idea where to find that sort of thing?

      • Petry was starting from farther back. There’s a big gap between a No. 4 pick and a No. 45 pick on draft day, and you expect the latter to take more time.

        College also factors in because players aren’t pushed out to the pro level as early as they are in major junior.

          • pkam

            So what you are saying is a dumb GM likes a player and wastes a high pick on him will destroy the player’s career?

            If a dumb GM drafted Giordano with a top 15th pick in 2001, he would be lucky if is a 3rd pairing NHL defenseman today?

          • If Giordano had been good enough to be a top-15 pick in his draft year and then developed so little that he wasn’t a regular NHL’er by his Draft+4 season, you’d have a case.

            Instead, Giordano was late-bloomer. In his draft year (2002) he was so lightly regarded that he went unselected. From there, he worked to the point where he was playing NHL games in his Draft+4 year and was a regular by Draft+5.

            He started from way back and made up a ton of ground. Reinhart started way ahead and has made precious little progress. It’s pretty hard to argue that Reinhart is a late-bloomer like Giordano when NHL scouts felt he was the second-best D in his draft class.

  • Jay (not J)

    Before Reinhart got sent down didn’t everyone say that he was going to be demoted when Schultz returned because of waiver eligibility, not because he was a lesser defenseman than Davidson or Gryba or Ference? Now we’re seeing articles pouncing on this move as proof that Chiarelli is the wrong man for the job and the endless sh!t show will just keep on keeping on. (That’s the conclusion we’re supposed to draw from this, right?)
    The whole thing’s a distraction. When the 28th place team in the league is able to put in net some ECHL guy who doesn’t even belong in the NHL and then they can completely shut out the highly skilled forwards of the Edmonton Oilers, what difference does Reinhart in the AHL/ NHL/ KHL really make?

  • Spaceman Spiff

    So … um… “the development of every 6’2”-or-taller defenceman drafted out of Canadian major junior with a top-15 pick at the NHL Draft between 2001 and 2011…”

    I’m surprised that you didn’t also require “… on a Saturday when the temperature outside the building was between 78F and 85F and the amount of time Gary Bettman was booed at the mike averaged between five and 10 seconds.”

    Listen, I’m not much of a statistician (I even have trouble spelling it), but it seems to me that you’re going to place that kind of stringent criteria for comparing defencemen you might be cooking your numbers a bit.

    OK, I get that they’re supposedly an “equivalent” type of player, but just because they’re the same size, draft pedigree and league, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have the same development track. All that matters is that the Oilers have him, he is/was a top prospect and that he obviously needs time in the minors. I mean, who cares … really … how Reinhart compares to others in that grouping you mention?

    They say hockey is a slippery game, played on ice. That means many things, among them that as much as the game is random, so too is the player’s ability to adapt to it. Development doesn’t follow the same path or pattern with any player – regardless of height, junior circuit, draft number or year. And I dare say there isn’t any one path or pattern that works consistently for defencemen. If goalies are “voodoo,” defencemen are some kind of black magic, too.

    Regardless, I’m not convinced that Reinhart needs to be a top-four defenceman by the end of this season, nor I’m not convinced that it would be a tragedy if he was ever not a top-four D.

    The thing is … right now, the Oilers need defencemen of all types. They don’t just need a first-pairing D, they need stay-at-home bangers, they need shutdown types, they need puck-movers. They’ve got two guys right now (Nurse, Klefbom) who look like they will fit some of those roles, but IMO, they need more. I bet if Chiarelli could flush out three or four of his defencemen right now and exchange them for three or four current NHLers, he would. But he can’t, so he’s got to be patient with the players he can still handle as prospects.

    I think Reinhart will be an NHL defenceman, but it doesn’t have to be right away if his development curve doesn’t allow it. If he can go down and finish out the season in the AHL and come back next fall, that won’t take him from prospect to suspect.

    Reinhart’s played less than 70 games in the AHL. I think Larry Robinson played more than 100. I know – I just upbraided you for comparing Reinhart to other defencemen, but it is worth noting that there is one tried-and-true method for prospects that almost always works – time.

    Let’s give Reinhart time and not freak out if he needs more of it.

  • Great move to put Griff in the AHL.
    Let him develop, wait until he is the clear #1 dman down there, even if it takes this year plus more.
    He needs to get more confident with the puck. We need him to learn to skate the puck out once and a while. He is still a blue chip prospect, dmen take time.

  • Every player on the Oilers is overrated by the writers and the fans. The results speaks for themselves.

    Analytics is like a religion to some posters and writers. They think they found a secret formula and continually get it wrong. Go over to LT’s blog and you will see they have 1 tool in the toolbox and that is all they use. Hint its not working. Your just not that smart

    • “Your just not that smart.”

      Honestly, man. If you’re going to insult people about not being smart, you can’t mess up the grammar like that. It’s like taping a sign on your back that reads “Kick me in the nuts.”

  • Spiel

    This is what the Oilers get by trying to shop in the bargain bin.

    Missed out on Dougie Hamilton because you wouldn’t pay a premium (fair or not)? You settle for a guy who will be a bottom pair guy.

    Same thing happened with the goalie. Canucks wanted a premium for Schneider from the Oilers, the Oilers balked and have been through many more “reasonably priced” options that have all been train wrecks.

    The team has missed the playoffs for a decade and is unwilling to part with any substantial asset to fix obvious deficiencies in the organization.

    The moment the Islanders drafted Barzal, they won the Reinhart trade. The fact they used the additional 2nd rounder to help them acquire Beauvillier makes it landslide. Enjoy watching these two studs at the world juniors Oilers fans.

  • Puck JammeR!

    “height doesn’t matter heaet” – marco estrada

    mr. willis would do well to remember some of the summertime lessons of
    our fabulous boys in blue

    • Dwayne Roloson 35

      The actual quote is height doesn’t measure heart. The actual person who says it is the jays 5’6 ace Marcus Stroman. Just got on the bandwagon at the trade deadline eh…

  • camdog

    I would argue it does matter, based on the price we paid to acquire him. This was exacerbated further in my eyes, because we already had a 4-5 left D-man in Marincin, whose move was necessitated (or enabled) by Reinhart’s acquisition. There’s a lot to like about Reinhart’s grit, but beyond that, they were very similar players. Defense first d-men who don’t produce much offense (for my money, I like Marincin’s mobility and puck moving better).

    I do not think Reinhart had a higher ceiling than Marincin, as many did. I find that players who can’t put up points in Junior are highly suspect to have an NHL career. I know, I know, he is not an offensive guy, right? But in Junior, future NHLers are supposed to dominate. If you are not putting up points in a league where you are supposed to be dominant and almost 60% of the players on the ice are awarded with a point every goal (the average assists per goal in the NHL is 1.82, I assume it’s similar in junior) then you are doing something wrong. His point totals are worse than past Oiler defensive gems like Plante, Barker and Teubert. This guy’s ceiling was always to be a 4-5 Dman, and he may not even reach that.

    We moved a 1st and a 2nd for a prospect 4-5 Dman and then shipped a serviceable 4-5 Dman out, to bring back a 3rd pairing guy. Had we not gone gang-busters for Reinhart, we could probably have used that second to trade for Gryba straight up, since he went for a 4th and a prospect. Is a 2nd rounder an over pay for Gryba? Sure, but we’d be in a better position now if we had done that, instead of the ridiculous trade we did make. Chiarelli has yet to show that he is the one with answers for this mess.

  • Stompinstoms

    The Oil can season him for years in the AHL, but if Reinhart doesn’t start working extremely hard with a damn good skating coach, he won’t have an NHL career. Guy skates like he’s in wet cement.