Entering the final year of his entry-level contract, Buffalo Sabres forward Sam Reinhart is eligible to sign a new long-term contract extension this summer.
The team is already trying to work out a deal with its other core forward in a similar situation — Jack Eichel — but to hear new general manager Jason Botterill talk there does not seem to be any rush to get a deal done with Reinhart before next summer.
“We’re always in dialog with [agent] Craig Oster, we just got a deal done with [Johan] Larsson and we’re in communication with him on [Robin] Lehner. It’s just an area where we’re excited with Sam, but I don’t think something from a contract standpoint will be happening this summer,” Botterill said, via WGR’s Paul Hamilton. “We have him under contract for another year and we’ll see how things play out and go from there.”
Given the negotiations that are ongoing with Eichel and Lehner (a restricted free agent that needs a new deal this summer) it is understandable that Reinhart might get pushed to the back burner a little bit. But another way of looking at that might be, we want to see what he does in year three before we commit to him.
Reinhart was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 draft, going one spot behind Aaron Ekblad. Reinhart will be eligible for restricted free agency next summer.
He was one of the signature picks of former general manager Tim Murray and one of the first ones that was supposed to make the organization’s complete teardown worth it in the long-run.
Two full seasons in to his career and the results have been okay, but nothing that really stands out. He has topped 40 points in each of the past two seasons which is not terrible production for a player that young — it is actually pretty decent — but isn’t exactly on the level of a franchise player yet, either.
Waiting another year to see where Reinhart’s career goes probably isn’t the worst idea for Botterill and the Sabres.