Leading up to the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Friday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.
Sam Reinhart (C)
Height: 6’1 Weight: 186 Shoots: Right
Team: Kootenay Ice (WHL)
NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 3 among North American skaters
What kind of player is he?
Although NHL Central Scouting ranked Reinhart below Sam Bennett and Aaron Ekblad, it wouldn’t be shocking if Reinhart ended up getting taken ahead of both of them. With Reinhart you’re getting a guy that’s close to the full package. He’s very smart on the ice, is a difference-maker with the man advantage, kills penalties, and can smoothly shift to the wing if you’re already deep up the middle.
He’s exceptional with the puck as his 36 goals and 105 points in 60 WHL games last season illustrated, but that great hockey IQ also aides him defensively. In other words, he has a chance to develop into a top two-way forward at the NHL level.
Sam Reinhart’s father, Paul, is a retired NHL defenseman who had 560 in 648 games with the Atlanta/Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. Sam is also the younger brother of Max Reinhart, who Calgary took in the third round of the 2010 draft, and Griffin Reinhart, who the New York Islanders took fourth overall in 2012.
“He’s a real smart guy and he had these measured answers. Halfway through the interview, I said: ‘It’s just like talking to your dad,'” Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning said, according to the Vancouver Province. Benning spent his final two campaigns as an NHL defenseman playing with the elder Reinhart.
“He’s Einstein on the ice,” Calgary Flames president Brian Burke, per Sportsnet’s Roger Millions.
For more 2014 NHL Draft previews, click here.
Reinhart is selected by the Sabres with the second overall pick.