As the Vegas Golden Knights preparing to select their team tonight, reports are surfacing with information about who they will be taking.
According to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, the Golden Knights will select Oiler Griffin Reinhart. The Oilers initially acquired the former Edmonton Oil King from the New York Islanders at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
Edmonton gave up the 16th and 33rd overall selections for Reinhart. The Islanders selected Matthew Barzal 16th overall and the 33rd was moved to Tampa Bay.
Assuming that the information is correct and Vegas does select Reinhart in the expansion draft, it’s safe to say his time as an Oiler was underwhelming.
This isn’t a knock against Reinhart as a player because when he was traded for there was information indicating that his career curve wasn’t positive. Edmonton expected him to be more ready for the NHL than he was.
Reinhart played only 29 regular season games for the Oilers, all in 15-16. He potted one assist playing little over 18 minutes a night. He played in one playoff game last season where he also potted one assist.
However, it finally seemed like Reinhart was taking a turn for the best in his NHL aspirations.
During a January interview with Bob Stauffer, Bakersfield Condors head coach Gerry Fleming praised Reinhart’s game:
Griff’s had maybe two bad games all year. He’s been solid for us, his compete level in practice has been good, again that’s carried over to the games. He’s doing things with a lot more intensity. One-on-one battles, he rarely loses them, he’s been strong in front of his net, he’s making guys fight for their ice and their boxed out. He’s joining the rush, although his point productivity isn’t where he’d like it to be, but he’s getting some good looks at the net and eventually he’ll start to get some points. He’s played well. The things that we’ve asked him to do, the things that we’ve asked him to work on he’s taken to heart and he’s really focused on those areas.
For once, it seemed as though he was taking the steps needed to at least be a solid third pairing defenceman.
Looking back it’s hard to not look at one of Peter Chiarelli’s first trades as a mistake. Reinhart hasn’t and likely won’t project to be anything more than an aforementioned third pairing guy.
Matthew Barzal would’ve been a great add to the forward corps, and the Oilers could’ve used 33 overall to select guys like Sebastian Aho, Daniel Sprong or Brandon Carlo.