From the moment we first met, I knew that we would get along. It’s not as though I’m a difficult person, but the Oilers have been doing an exceptional job of drafting all around good hockey players and people. Drew Czerwonka, captain of the WHL Kootenay Ice is certainly one of them.
Griffin Reinhart and the Edmonton Oil Kings have been having an amazing season. The Oil Kings are leading the Eastern Division of the WHL and Reinhart is second in points for defencemen on the team. Leading the team is Oilers’ prospect Martin Gernat but the two are separated by only 4 goals, but 13 points.
Reinhart has 12 goals, 16 assists, 23 penalty minutes and is a +15 all with a quarter of a season left to play. These numbers make Reinhart and attractive prospect going into the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Following their run to the Memorial Cup last season, the Kootenay Ice have been trying to prove that their success was no accident. They’re succeeding. As the calendar moves closer to the end of the WHL regular season, the Kootenay Ice are one of the teams who have pulled out as a force to be reckoned with. Their defencive play can frustrate and irritate the strongest of teams, and of course they can score.
The Kootenay Ice opened the scoring with a power play goal in the first period from Jagger Dirk with assists from Jesse Ismond and Sam Reinhart. Sam is the youngest of the three Reinhart brothers and not draft eligible until 2014. Already with the attention he is garnering it is becoming clear that he will likely be drafted the highest.
The Edmonton area has produced its share of excellent hockey players, and that trend doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. The Team Canada world junior development camp was held in Edmonton this summer and featured five players native to the city and if you look at any league, you will find several players from Alberta’s capital and many more looking to advance their hockey careers.
The WHL has been the starting point for many NHL careers; it’s a dream held by most players in the league. For the three Reinhart brothers, Max, Griffin and Sam that dream is a little closer to home than for others. The Reinhart brothers are sons of Paul Reinhart, former Calgary Flame and this year all three brothers are playing in the WHL.
Apparently, 95% of parents have a favourite child and that the other 5% are lying. With that in mind I won’t bother suggesting that I don’t have favourite prospects, even though the two situations are completely different. I try to remain unbiased, and can be successful in that regard in many ways, but certainly not all. Quite simply, some prospects make my job easy; they’re confident, well spoken, friendly and put me at ease as much as I hope I do for them. Drew Czerwonka of the Kootenay Ice is one of those prospects. With his calm yet friendly demeanor, million dollar smile and thoughtful responses Czerwonka has quickly become a favourite of mine.
About Oil Patch
Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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