I got help from a lot of very good players coming through the system. Now I'm trying to do what they did for me. - Max Reinhart
PENTICTON, BC -- At the ripe old age of 21, Max Reinhart is considered a veteran on the Calgary Flames Young Stars roster.
The 2010 Flames third round draft pick has been through multiple development and rookie camps during his time with the organization and has worked extensively with Abbotsford Heat head coach Troy Ward, who is coaching the Calgary prospects at the Young Stars Classic. He knows what the expect and understands the level of commitment the coaches want to see out of their charges.
He also knows how daunting a players first rookie camp can be. Reinhart, feeling much more comfortable and relaxed than he has in past years, has taken on a leadership roster and is hoping to provide guidance for the 18 and 19 year-olds at camp.
"I got help from a lot of very good players coming through the system," Reinhart stated. "Now I'm trying to do what they did for me."
The West Vancouver, BC native takes the "lead by example" approach and that is exactly what he did on Thursday night in the Flames first game at the Young Stars Classic.
Centering Josh Jooris, who signed an entry-level deal with the club earlier this summer, and Andy Taranto, who is attending prospect camp on a try-out agreement, Reinhart and his linemates got the Flames right into the game with a tenacious, unrelenting forecheck. They hemmed the Oilers in deep, kept the Edmonton defenders at bay and were rewarded with a goal off of Reinhart's stick early in the first period.
"I wasn't really sure what to expect," he said of the opening game. "I put a lot of work in over the summer and I was anxious to just get out, feel my way through it. I was pretty pleased with how I started.
"It's a confidence booster."
Due to the NHL work stoppage, Reinhart's 2012-13 season started at the Abbotsford Heat training camp. He played 67 games with the Heat last year, potting 7 goals and registering 21 points, before being recalled by the Flames. He had an 11-game cup of coffee with Calgary, notching his first NHL goal and posting 3 points.
His goal is make the Flames roster out of training camp this year and is using his performance at the Young Stars Classic as a stepping stone for main camp. Reinhart wants to ensure he has given his all throughout prospect camp as management will be judging the effort each player has put in when making their roster decisions.
"I know I can't get too complacent - no one can because that's when it can come back to bite you.
"We all have to earn (a roster spot). They've told us that repeatedly. I think the way all of us want it to be. From playing on the big team last year, (I know) there is a lot of good players that we have to try to take their spots and it is not going to be easy."