Two years after selecting Mathew Barzal thanks to the return received from Griffin Reinhart, it’s clear the New York Islanders won the trade.
Back in 2015, New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow watched Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney blow straight past Mathew Barzal in favor of three kids that would all go on to fail their conditioning tests.
Snow acted quickly, knowing that Peter Chiarelli’s Edmonton Oilers held the 16th overall pick—and how much he valued the Isles then-top defensive prospect, Griffin Reinhart.
One phone call later, Reinhart was sent packing back to Edmonton—where he captained the Oil Kings to a WHL championship—and in return, the Islanders received the 16th and 33rd overall picks.
The Islanders selected Mathew Barzal and, 12 picks later, also drafted Anthony Beauvillier after packaging the Oilers’ second-round pick with their own to Tampa Bay for what was originally the New York Rangers‘ 28th-overall selection.
Revisiting the trade two years later, not only are Garth Snow and the New York Islanders the clear winners — but it’s not even close.
Since being moved, Reinhart has played a grand total of 29 NHL games before the Oilers decided to move on from him, spending the majority of his time in the AHL with the Bakersfield Condors.
Meanwhile, Barzal has gone on to become an offensive juggernaut for the Islanders, notching three goals and 13 points on the young season, including breaking an Islanders rookie record for assists in one game with five.
With that being said, many are probably wondering: “What was Edmonton’s fascination with Reinhart anyway?”
Well, back in 2014, Reinhart was the captain of the Edmonton Oil Kings. That year, the Oil Kings would defeat the Guelph Storm 6-3 in the championship game of the CHL tournament to capture the Memorial Cup for Edmonton. That might have had something to do with it.
Reinhart signed a deal with the Vegas Golden Knights in the offseason, and was waived at the conclusion of the month of October, and will likely spend the majority of the year in the AHL.
Though Barzal has 21 fewer games than Reinhart, it’s safe to say that he’ll be seeing a lot more action than the struggling blueliner.