It’s not noteworthy Buffalo Sabres news – but I had selected Griffin Reinhart in several mock drafts leading up to the 2012-2013 entry level draft – and today the 18 year old defensemen signed his entry level deal with the New York Islanders.
I am a little disappointed that the Buffalo Sabres did not make a play for Reinhart – but given that the Islanders selected him with the fourth overall pick, the team probably did not have them on the board of possibles given their full out attack on the center position.
The Buffalo Sabres did select defensive players in the 2012 draft, but did so in the second round with the 44th overall pick in Jake McCabe and then again in the seventh round selecting Brady Austin at 193.
I am not complaining about the Buffalo Sabres lack of defense in the draft selections, the depth of the organization definitely needed the boost at center.
What is the likely hood that the New York Islanders deal Griffin Reinhart to the Buffalo Sabres before the player reaches his prime? That’s the question that weighed on my mind when I read that the Islanders had signed the former Edmonton Oil King.
In the last eighteen drafts – the New York Islanders have made twenty-three first round draft selections.
Of those twenty four first round draft picks, only eight are still with the New York Islanders organization – five of the eight are playing AHL hockey or below. Only Rick DiPietro, Kyle Okposo and John Tavares are seeing regular action in an Islanders sweater. Given Reinharts age – he coul be starting the season with the likes of Josh Bailey, Calvin De Haan, Nino Niederreiter, Brock Nelson, and Ryan Strome. Thats just 37% of the first round draft picks by the New York Islanders still remaining on the island.
Realistically, the New York Islanders have only missed on one occasion in the draft – with the selection of Michael Rupp – the Islanders never came to terms and he reentered the draft the next year. That represents just four percent of all first round draft picks. Another four percent will be summed up by the loss of Sean Bergenheim by the New York Islanders – Bergenheim left for greener pastures during free agency.
The most staggering figure when looking at the New York Islanders draft history since 1995 – 12 of the first round selections by the New York Islanders were traded away before the prime of their career (some careers never sparked – so they might be safe to be included in the “missed” category as well).
Some of these names are household names in many NHL households. While they have seem to learned their lesson – the Islanders have held onto their number one selections since the lockout – we can only hope that the continued lack of hockey knowledge on Long Island might benefit the Buffalo Sabres in the near future.