PHILADELPHIA — For the third time in four years, Buffalo has taken a forward with its first pick at the draft.
The Sabres selected WHL Kootenay’s Sam Reinhart with the second selection at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft on Friday night, their highest-drafted forward since taking Thomas Vanek fifth overall in 2003.
Reinhart, 18, had 30 goals and 105 points in 60 games for Kootenay this year, emerging as one of the top offensive talents in the Canadian Hockey League. At 6-foot-1, 183 pounds, he’ll need to add strength to compete at the NHL level but will be aided by his strong hockey lineage — his dad, Paul, had a productive career as a NHL defenseman while both his brothers, Max (Calgary) and Griffin (Islanders) were drafted into the league as well.
As mentioned, Reinhart is one of three forwards Buffalo’s selected with its first pick in the last four years, joining Mikhail Grigorenko (12th overall, ’12) and Joel Armia (16th overall, ’11).
The pick was also Tim Murray’s first as Buffalo GM, and he’ll be one to watch moving forward as he’s already expressed a desire to get another first-round pick before the night’s through.