Previously I analyzed the Reinhart trade, based solely on his draft season and his season following. However, my analysis of Darnell Nurse for his CHL statistical comparable players has expanded that research as to include a player’s draft season+2. Following in the same vein as my research on Nurse let us venture back down the Griffin Reinhart rabbit hole to see what can be found the second time around.
CHL COMPARABLES FOR GRIFFIN REINHART
When comparing defenseman, I use an adjusted point formula which is based on the fact that power play production from juniors does not translate as well to the NHL as does non-power play production (even strength + shorthanded). Therefore, based on my research a power play point is worth only approximately 58% of that of an even strength or shorthanded point. In the case of Griffin Reinhart, we will be using the following criteria to find comparable players:
- Drafted between 1998 and 2009
- 6’2 or taller
- Drafted in the top 20
- Played 2 more seasons in the CHL after being drafted
This criterion gives 14 players in which to compare against Reinhart. If we apply the adjusted point total over an 82 game season, the results are:
ADJUSTED POINT TOTALS (DRAFT SEASON)
- Reinhart ends up 10th overall around the same range as Cowen, Teubert, Sbisa and Coburn.
- Reinhart drops from 5th spot in his rookie year to 13th two seasons following. Sbisa follows a similar trend going from 6th to 12th.
- Reinhart shows no growth in point production going from 37 to 34 to 36 points.
SEPARATING OUT POWER PLAY POINTS
While the adjusted point totals help reduce the effects of power play scoring, it is a good idea to compare defenseman based on just their non-power play production only. The non-power play point totals over an 82 game season are:
NON POWER PLAY POINT TOTALS (DRAFT SEASON)
- When we remove power play scoring, Reinhart ends up 4th overall. This is much higher than his 10th place finish when power play scoring was involved in the equation.
- Reinhart is 3rd overall in his draft season and drops to middle of the pack finishing 7th and 8th in the following seasons.
- Cowen, Teubert, Sbisa and Coburn were closest to Reinhart in adjusted point totals. Out of them we can rule Sbisa out as his non-power play production is over 20% less than that of Reinhart. Therefore, the former CHL players that are the best statistical comparables for Reinhart are Cowen, Teubert and Coburn.
PRO ROOKIE SEASON
- Cowen was the only player to play their entire first pro season in the NHL.
- Reinhart season was closest to Coburn who mainly played in the AHL with a cup of coffee in the big leagues.
- Teubert is the only player that did not receive any NHL time in their first pro season.
- 3 of the 4 players were traded by the original team who drafted them. Teubert was the earliest to be traded as he did not last his full pro rookie season before the Kings dealt him.
PRO SOPHOMORE SEASON
In their draft season +4, which is the season Reinhart is about to enter, the three comparable players had the following results:
- Cowen had a major hip injury that kept him out most of the season. His play has regressed from his rookie season as likely the injury and losing a year of development combined with being rushed to the NHL has hurt him. While Cowen has time to turn things around it serves as a good example on how important it is to put players in positions to succeed.
- Coburn struggled to crack the Thrashers lineup and played part of the season in the AHL before being acquired by the Flyers. After a change in scenery Coburn’s game started to pick up.
- Teubert played the majority of the year in the AHL before injuries allowed him to get 24 games with the Oilers. This would be the peak of his NHL career and he is now playing in Germany.
THE NEXT BRAYDON COBURN?
Cowen, Reinhart, Coburn and Teubert were all drafted to become top 4 shutdown defenseman but have had varying degrees of success. The worst case scenario is that the Oilers traded for another Teubert who will not pan out. However, what makes me believe that Reinhart will not go down that road is he does not have the question marks swirling about his hockey sense which was the big knock on Teubert. Instead, hockey sense has always been a strength of the Reinhart family, be it Griffin, his father Paul or brother Sam, they are smart hockey players.
Therefore, if Reinhart becomes a day to day NHL player is he more likely to be a 1st/2nd pairing d-man like Coburn or a 3rd pairing like Cowen? Or is he something more in between like current Edmonton Oiler Mark Fayne? One positive the Oilers fan can take is that Reinhart has not been rushed to the NHL like Cowen and is developing along a path that is so similar to Braydon Coburn that it is almost eerie.
WHL: 278 GP 31 G 114A 145P 0.52 Pts/G
AHL: 73 GP 6 G 20A 26P 0.36 Pts/G
NHL: 9 GP 0 G 1A 1P 0.11 Pts/G
WHL: 266 GP 39 G 100A 139P 0.52 Pts/G
AHL: 59 GP 7 G 15A 22P 0.37 Pts/G
NHL: 8 GP 0 G 1A 1P 0.13 Pts/G
Therefore, Oilers fans should be happy if that path continues for Reinhart as Coburn is the top end upside we should ever expect from him. I would expect this is the type of upside Bob Green and Peter Chiarelli see in Reinhart and is why they were willing to deal two high draft picks away to get him. While I have stated that the Oilers overpaid, this is based on the fact that players rarely reach or exceed their top end potential. If Reinhart follows in the footsteps of a Braydon Coburn than I will gladly be proven wrong as that would be fair value for the two picks the Oilers traded. In his second pro season Coburn had 11 points in 49 games (0.22 P/G), so if Reinhart continues to match Coburn’s development it is reasonable to expect Reinhart to play 40+ games with Oilers. However, the glut of defenseman fighting for the 3rd pairing will make it difficult for Reinhart to find playing time. As for top end potential, the odds are that Reinhart is more likely to end up as a #4 or 5 option but I am pulling for the former Oil King to end up the next Braydon Coburn.