After taking Sam Reinhart with the second overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the Buffalo Sabres aren’t going to wait to get him into a preseason contest. They plan to use him in their opener against the Washington Capitals on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. ET, per the Buffalo News.
That’s in keeping with Sabres coach Ted Nolan plan to get his younger players into games early and lean more on his veterans in the second half of Buffalo’s six-game preseason schedule.
Reinhart entered training camp with a realistic shot of making the rebuilding Sabres. He’s very talented offensively and has been frequently praised for his high hockey IQ.
Although the Sabres are hoping to prove their skeptics wrong, they are more likely to be in the race for the first overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft than contention for a playoff spot. With that in mind, how Reinhart and other young Sabres do this season might quickly become what fans focus on as they look for hope in the face of what might be an otherwise bleak season.