Islanders Trade up For Barzal, Send Reinhart to Edmonton


Last night the New York Islanders knew exactly which player they wanted when the 16th overall pick was on the clock. After the Boston Bruins made a few mysterious picks, top prospect Mathew Barzal remained on the board.

The Islanders knew what to do.

When the Edmonton Oilers were on the clock, the Islanders accepted the 16th and the 33rd picks in the draft. Going north to Edmonton is defenseman Griffin Reinhart.

“I’ve always liked him as a player,” said general manger Peter Chiarelli to the Edmonton Sun. “I saw him in pro a couple of times last year and I saw him in London at the Memorial Cup and he was just a horse.

“I’m happy to get him. We had some guys at 16 that we liked but this is something we decided to act on.

“He’s a young defenceman and he’s still finding his way but he’s big and strong and he’s very, very smart and can play a lot of minutes.

“He’s ready to play and he’s going to be a very big part of our D.”

The Islanders did not have a first or a second round pick before the draft day trade, so now they have another opportunity with a second rounder (who they traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning). They acquired the 28th pick from the Lightning in that trade where they selected Anthony Beauvillar.

Going to Edmonton is Reinhart, a 21 year old who was the Islanders fourth overall pick in the 2012 entry draft. He played in eight games in the NHL with the Islanders, picking up one assist and six penalty minutes.

Reinhart really has made his mark with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League. In 59 games, he had 22 points. The Islanders don’t need him terribly much, with a stacked defense core that includes Johnny Boychuk, Travis Harmonic, and Nick Leddy.

Meanwhile, the Oilers need defense and fans may be familiar with Reinhart, as he played with the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Memorial Cup.

“He’s got some developing to do, but Griffin is a winner and he’s got elite hockey sense,” said Oil Kings general manager Bob Green. “Did he struggle this year in the American League? I guess he did, but I believe in Griffin as a player and I think he’s going to be just fine.

“He’s a horse, he can play all night, he’s 6-foot-4, he can move the puck, he’s got elite hockey sense, he’s got great hands. He’s the complete package.”

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