Whether the moves work out in the long run or not, you can’t accuse the Buffalo Sabres of slacking. Following a frenetic Friday (including picking Owen Power first overall), the Sabres stayed busy on Saturday by trading Sam Reinhart to the Florida Panthers.
The Panthers confirmed that they traded a 2022 first-round pick and goalie Devon Levi to the Sabres for Sam Reinhart.
Pierre LeBrun reports a key detail: it could turn into a 2023 first-rounder:
On the first-round pick in the Sam Reinhart trade, there is lottery protection. If the pick ends up top 10 next year, the first-rounder moves to 2023 instead.@TSNHockey @TheAthletic
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 24, 2021
Let’s quickly review the Sabres’ Friday, which bled into Saturday:
- Again, they drafted Power with the No. 1 pick of the 2021 NHL Draft. As you can see from the tracker, they also selected Isak Rosen at 14th overall.
- Earlier in the day, the Sabres
tricked the Flyerstraded Rasmus Ristolainen to the Flyers in a surprising move.
- Now, add trading Sam Reinhart to the Panthers.
It’s probably not yet time for Sabres GM Kevyn Adams to nap, but he’s been busy. For all the work the Sabres did, there’s still the lingering issue of a possible Jack Eichel trade …
Panthers trade for Sam Reinhart; Sabres busy NHL Draft weekend continues
Reinhart, 25, is a pending RFA with arbitration rights. If there’s a short way to describe Reinhart as a player, it’s probably “Better than most believe he is.”
Sam Reinhart, traded to FLA, is a strong top-six two-way forward who scores efficiently. He was one of the few Sabres whose finishing didn't mysteriously vanish this season. #FlaPanthers pic.twitter.com/bdJVCgkzBW
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) July 24, 2021
Despite being limited to 54 games in 2020-21, Reinhart scored 25 goals and 40 points. That marked his fourth-consecutive 22+ goal season, and he hit that mark in five of his last six campaigns. Beyond his career-high of 65 points from 2018-19, Reinhart’s also generated 50 points on two other occasions.
As that tweet above notes, Reinhart’s game isn’t just about scoring. He’s generally a smart player, and perhaps his understated style left some disappointed (being that Reinhart was the second pick of the 2014 NHL Draft).
Speaking of the 2014 NHL Draft, the Panthers now employ three of the top four picks: Aaron Ekblad (first), Reinhart (second), and Sam Bennett (fourth). Again, Reinhart is an RFA, and so is Bennett (also 25, also with arbitration rights).
For the Sabres, the main takeaway is that 2022 first-rounder. Devon Levi, 19, was a seventh-round pick (212th overall) in 2020. Hockeydb has his limited stats.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.