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From The Ice

Friedman: ‘Way Too Early’ To Write Off Griffin Reinhart

(Chris LaFrance/Icon Sportswire)

Elliotte Friedman was on Edmonton’s 630 CHED on Friday afternoon.

On the criticism of the Oilers’ trade to get Griffin Reinhart, and how people shouldn’t give up on a 21-year-old:

“Yeah, absolutely that’s true. You don’t want to give up on the kid at such a young age.

“Jim Rutherford always would say he has a rule that he never made a judgment on a defenseman until he was 24. I did some math on that and it’s not always hard and fast, but I think you will find examples of defensemen who, like a lot of young players, really improve once they get 250-300 games in. I think in a lot of cases, you can’t make a decision on that player.

“Last night I was working the Toronto-Carolina game, and that was not the best game I’ve ever seen before. But we’re talking about Noah Hanifin and Mitch Marner. And there’s a lot of people in Toronto who are not happy that the Maple Leafs passed on Noah Hanifin in the draft. They could have taken him in the four spot, but they didn’t. They took Mitch Marner and Hanifin went next to Carolina.

“And I understand that complaint. I think Hanifin is going to be a stud, but I think if you’re making your determination on players at 19 or 20 – or even 21 sometimes – you’re nuts. You’re on crack.

“The one thing I would bet, more than anything else, is that they didn’t want to call up Reinhart. That they wanted him to be in the American Hockey League and playing those games, big minutes, every night. But all of the sudden you’re looking at this situation where you lose another guy. ‘What are we going to do?’

“I know everybody is mad. I know everybody is frustrated. I know they’re all mad and frustrated because of big picture things as much as they’re frustrated about Griffin Reinhart. But it is way too early to write this kid off. Way too early.”

Source: 630 CHED/ Transcript: Nichols

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