After taking forwards with their top-10 picks in each of the previous four NHL drafts, the New York Islanders fortified their defense with both a trade and the addition of Griffin Reinhart with the fourth overall selection.
"He's got excellent size, good hockey sense and he comes from a winning program," GM Garth Snow told Newsday when asked about Reinhart, the son of former NHL defenseman Paul Reinhart. "He's another great piece to add to the puzzle, and he fills a need.
"When you don't make the playoffs, there's a lot of needs. We've got someone we think will help us for a long time."
The 6-foot-4 blue-liner, who had 12 goals and 36 points for WHL champion Edmonton last season, seems to understand he isn't likely to make the Islanders right away.
"I've got a lot I need to work on," the 18-year-old defenseman said.
For the short term, Snow also acquired veteran defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky from Anaheim just before the start of the draft in exchange for a second-round pick in 2013. Visnovsky, 35, joins a defense corps that currently includes holdovers Mark Streit, Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald. Steve Staios has retired to join the Toronto front office, while veterans Mark Eaton and Milan Jurcina are unrestricted free agents and are not expected back.
Visnovsky's addition also will help the low-salaried Isles with their annual quest to barely exceed the NHL's salary-cap floor. He is due to earn $3 million this season, but he comes with a favorable $5.6 million cap hit.
"I thought it was a real good pickup for us," said Isles winger Matt Moulson, a former teammate with the Kings. "I had a chance to play with him a bit in L.A. and (he) is an extremely skilled defenseman, great on the power play, moves the puck well, skates well. It's a good pickup for us and it'll help with the offensive output from the back end."