Reinhart showing he belongs

CRASH CAMERON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

With top d-man Mark Pysyk freshly added to the Oil Kings' lengthy injured list, top bantam draft pick Griffin Reinhart played his second WHL game yesterday.

Size-wise, the 15-year-old blue-liner doesn't look out of place in major junior.

Skill-wise, the son of former Calgary Flames star Paul Reinhart looked like a tentative but very capable rookie.

'A LOT FASTER'

"It's just a lot faster than major midget," Griffin said after yesterday's 4-1 loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings.

"There's not just one big difference -- everything's a big step up and you have to adjust to that. I think I did that against Swift Current (where he was plus-3 in the 5-2 road win Saturday).

"Obviously, playing against a guy like Brayden Schenn is a big challenge.

"Unless you're really confident, I don't think you can really do it at this age. I think I started to handle it a bit better than I expected.

"But the coaches liked the way I played and I'll continue to work on my game for next year."

That's concurred by head coach Steve Pleau.

"That's a good test for him, to play a team that's hosting the Memorial Cup and that has some great forwards," Pleau said of facing Brandon.

"I thought he did a good job for us. With his size and skill potential, he's going to be one of the top defencemen in this league at some point. But he does have to learn how to play an up-tempo game."

ELIGIBILITY

Reinhart has only three games of eligibility left before his season ends.

"We're going to have to sit down and evaluate that and see where our injured list is," said Pleau.

But Reinhart has one game in mind.

"I'd like to get the chance to play in Vancouver (against the Giants) in front of a home crowd."


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