Tonight could — and probably should — be Sam Reinhart’s last NHL game of the 2014-15 season.
Reinhart will be in Buffalo’s lineup at home versus the Bruins. It will be the 18-year-old’s ninth game of the season. If he plays another game — as opposed to being returned to his junior club, the WHL’s Kootenay Ice — his entry-level contract will kick in.
What does he think will happen?
“I don’t think it’s a good thing to get into the guessing game at this point,” Reinhart said, per the Buffalo News. “I’m going to keep focusing on what I’ve been from the very beginning and take it one step at a time. The next step is tonight.
“We’re going to come out with a much better effort tonight, and that’s the most important thing. Whatever I can do to help our team win tonight is what I’m going to do.”
Reinhart, the second overall pick in the 2014 draft, has only one assist in eight games. His average ice time is just 10:41. He only has three shots. Which is to say, he’s not contributing a whole heck of a lot to arguably the worst team in the NHL.
And while it’s true that Reinhart doesn’t have much left to prove at the junior level, at the very least, with a return to the Ice, he’d be able to play big minutes and work on getting bigger and stronger.