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Griffin Reinhart working to reverse perceptions

Islanders prospect Griffin Reinhart skates during minicamp at

Islanders prospect Griffin Reinhart skates during minicamp at Nassau Coliseum. (July 9, 2013) Credit: James Escher

Griffin Reinhart has heard the criticisms. He’s heard himself portrayed as lazy and as someone who consistently takes plays off. Reinhart, though, is here to prove those critics wrong.

“I know I’ve been criticized in the past, for not necessarily being lazy, but not urgent enough and intense,” Reinhart said. “I think I’ve really worked on that and I think they’ve seen that now in me a little bit and I’ve got to continue working on that even more.”

The 4th overall selection in the 2012 NHL Draft spoke with the media after practice on Wednesday during the second day of the 2013 Islanders Mini Camp. Though he agrees with the assessment to a degree, Reinhart said that he can sometimes make the game look easy and that often gets perceived as him not giving his all during every play.

“I play in a really deceptive way,” the 6-4, 202-pound defenseman said. “I cover the ice really well. I’m not the type of player that needs to skate 100 percent all the time — I kind of read the game. I think that is sometimes misinterpreted as lazy or not urgent and [not] intense. I think people are starting to see that, but at the same time, I’ve also been picking up my intensity.”

Reinhart is considered to be one of the top prospects in the Islanders organization and has spent the last four years playing for the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Western Hockey League. During the 2012-13 season, Reinhart tallied eight goals and 21 assists in 59 games.

Participating in his second summer mini camp for the Islanders, Reinhart said he feels a lot more comfortable out on the ice and has his eyes set on competing for a roster position with the team this fall.

“I thought I played well in the mini camp in January and I’m really trying to fight for a spot this year,” the 19-year-old Reinhart said. “I haven’t heard anything about whether I expect to make it or not, but I’m going to do everything I can to show them I can play here.”

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