The Big 4 '94 Defenceman in the WHL

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by prongertheman9, Feb 8, 2011.

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  1. prongertheman9

    prongertheman9 Registered User

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    They were the top 4 players chosen in the 2009 WHL bantam draft and they haven't disappointed as 16 year olds. Derrick Pouliot, Morgan Rielly, Griffin Reinhart, and Mathew Dumba all have over 20 points so far this season and all 4 look to be top 20 picks in next years draft.

    I have only gotten a chance to see Dumba play so I was wondering if someone who has seen the majority of them could explain each of their styles of play, rank them on potential and give an NHL comparable for each.
     
  2. R S

    R S @avs_tweets

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    Well, I know you only want to discuss these 4, but in my mind they are still all behind Ryan Murray. Murray is also draft eligible in 2012, but is just shy of the 2011 draft due to his Sept. birthday.

    But if we are only looking at these 4, here are my thoughts.

    1. Griffin Reinhart - He is the best of the 4 named in my opinion. He is big at 6'4. He plays with a mean edge. Loves to play physical and throw around his big frame. Has a good hard shot. A strong passer as well. Definitely has the offensive side of his game as well as being very good and mature defensively. Despite his size his skating really isn't an issue.

    As far as potential I think he is at worst a top 4 defender on an NHL team. I think he has enough to be a top pairing player that plays top unit PK and maybe second unit PP.

    NHL comparison: I want to say in a Pronger mold, but I don't want people to think that I think he is going to be the next Pronger, which he obviously won't be. But think along those lines and that's what you get from Reinhart.

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    2. Matt Dumba - To me it's a toss up between him and Pouliot for second on this list. Dumba is just an explosive player from the blueline. He hits like an absolute truck. He has a bomb of a shot and is a great skater and passer. He is definitely the most explosive out of the 4 players listed in the thread. He is also the most raw though. Still is considered rough around the edges, but if he can ever add some polish to parts of his game he could easily end up as the best of the 4.

    I think his potential is a top 4 defender who plays both PP and PK.

    NHL comparison: A righthanded Dion Phaneuf. I also think PK Subban is a pretty fair comparison.

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    3. Derrick Pouliot - I have to say I wasn't overly impressed with him the one time I saw him live this season. But, that was obviously a very small sample size. This ranking is based more on past performances and doing some reading on him. A very smart and effective 2 way defenseman. Most famous for his skating ability as it is already near an elite level for a defenseman. I think he is probably the best offensive defenseman out of the 4, with Rielly a close 2nd.

    Potential is a top pairing defenseman who can QB a PP and likely see time as a 2nd pairing PK guy.

    NHL comparison: Duncan Keith

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    4. Morgan Rielly - It's really mindboggling that this guy can be 4th on the list because he is an amazing player. As far as blazing speed and game breaking ability, Rielly is likely the best out of the 4. He isn't as pure of a skater as Pouliot but he is faster and likes to lead the rush just as much, if not more. He's got great passing abilities. He's not an overly physical defender but is very SMART in his own zone. Reads the play well and has a quick stick to make up for that lack of physicality.

    For potential I say he will likely end up as a top 4 defender who will play on a top unit of a PP and may or may not kill penalties.

    NHL comparison: John-Michael Liles (almost to a tee)
     
  3. prongertheman9

    prongertheman9 Registered User

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    I tried to keep Murray out of this for the reason that he seems to be a level above these guys right now and I wanted to keep it to 94's.

    Thanks for your input, I enjoyed the read. It is actually funny because TSR did a U-17 recap and ranked players performance and they had these 4 ranked in the exact opposite order that you did. It just goes to show you how close they all are right now.

    Let me know how Rielly looks on Wednesday!
     
  4. pdxshark

    pdxshark Registered User

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    Thing i've noticed about pouliot is he is inconsistant (i'll assume the others are as well to some degree). The fact that he plays on the #1 PP line and pushes some veteran NHL drafted defenseman to the second tier says something about his abilities.

    His defense has improved in this most recent part of the season. Two weeks ago in Tri cities he had his worst game i've seen. The next weekend against edmonton he was dominant. His defense will get there and his poise is light years ahead of anything I could expect. Some players just "have it" when you see them, even if they don't have the greatest game. Reminds me of Thomas Hickey in that regard.

    Was really hoping to see reinhart this last weekend but he's out for the year.
     

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