No sweat for young defender

DEREK VAN DIEST

, Last Updated: 1:28 PM ET

The Edmonton Oil Kings traded up in the Western Hockey League bantam draft to take defenceman Griffin Reinhart.

This weekend, they'll get a chance to see how the six-foot-four, 195-pound Vancouver native looks in their team colours at their annual spring camp.

"My older brother went through this and he's been giving me a few tips," Reinhart said. "He told me not to be as nervous the first time. They're not evaluating me right now so just go out there, try your best and try to leave a good impression for next season."

As a 15-year-old, Reinhart - son of former NHLer Paul Reinhart - is ineligible to play with the Oil Kings on a full-time basis next season. He can only be called up for five games as an underage player.

He'll return to play midget hockey in B.C., then look to make the jump to the WHL the following year as a 16-year-old.

"Obviously I want to come out here and do my best, but I don't think I'll be as nervous as I will next year, because I can't make the team," Reinhart said. "I think that will help me this year to relax and I think it'll be better that way."

Reinhart played midget hockey last season with the Hollyburn Huskies, collecting 20 points in 16 regular-season games, then adding another 18 points in six playoff games en route to a provincial title.

He was then called up to play with the Vancouver midget triple-A Giants and won another provincial title.

"He's the complete package," said Oil Kings general manager Bob Green. "He a big kid that can skate really well and handle the puck. And he's got good offensive skills.

"For him, it's a maturing process, getting used to his surroundings and getting a chance to go through the process of training camp. From there, we'll get him into some exhibition games and hopefully we'll get him in at some point through the season as well."


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