CALGARY, AB --
It's been an unforgettable year for pivot Maxwell Reinhart
After being drafted by the Flames in the third round (64th overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the West Vancouver native entered his third season with the Kootenay Ice in hopes of making an impression on Flames brass by continuing the progression he had shown through his first two years in the WHL.
He didn't just progress. He skyrocketed up the Flames depth chart thanks to his incredible performance that saw him score 34 goals and 79 points, averaging out to 1.11 points per game in the regular season.
He continued to improve during the Ice's playoff run that led them to a Memorial Cup berth. Reinhart notched 15 goals and 27 points in just 19 games during the postseason. That kind of production is outstanding when simply looking at the numbers but making it even more impressive is the fact he accrued those points playing against the best players in CHL.
When he looks back upon his career year, he credits last summer's development camp for kicking off the 2010-11 season in the right fashion.
"I think last season it helped coming here and obviously training camp up in Pentiction just because it gives you a little bit of confidence and you get to see a little bit higher level of play.
"I think it makes you a little bit of a better play and it gives something to look forward to ... These guys tell you what they want to see and you go out and try your best to fix your weaknesses and become a better player."
He isn't flashy but he gets the job done in a highly effective manner. His two-way play was second to none in Kootenay and he rarely makes a bad decision on the ice. His on-ice intelligence has been the key catalyst in his rapid development.
Scouts and coaches have also raved about his ability to elevate his linemates play. It doesn't matter what line he's placed on. He makes everyone around him better thanks to hockey sense and raw skill.
After his tremendous season, many expected Reinhart to be a shoo-in for an invitation to Hockey Canada's summer development camp for prospective players for the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championships. However, his name was left off the list.
"I was a little bit disappointed at the start but it was out of my control," he shrugged. "The only thing in my control right now is to have a great start to the season if I go back to junior. I'll do my best to make a good impression and hopefully they'll pick me the second time around."
Like the rest of the Flames prospects, Reinhart will be using his summer to work towards his ultimate goal: earning a roster spot.
"If I don't make it this year, I'll come back with them next year and try to make it next year. I'm trying to progress as much as I can, as fast I can. I won't be too disappointed going back for a year in junior but definitely my goal is to make this hockey club."Follow Torie Peterson on Twitter | @ToriePeterson