A number of top prospects available in the 2014 NHL Draft are products of rich hockey bloodlines.
Sam Reinhart is no different.
Sam, 18, is the son of former National Hockey League defenseman Paul Reinhart, who was drafted 12th overall by the Atlanta Flames in 1979 and logged 648 career games with the Atlanta/Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. Sam’s younger brothers have also both been drafted: Max, the eldest, was taken in the third round (63rd overall) by the Calgary Flames in 2010, and Griffin, the 20-year-old lone defenseman of the trio of brothers, was selected fourth overall by the New York Islanders in 2012.
Sam, a right-shooting center, could be the highest-drafted Reinhart, meaning the Canes would likely have to trade up in order to snag him.
|HOMETOWN: VANCOUVER, BC |
|HEIGHT: 6'1" |
|WEIGHT: 185 |
|BIRTHDAY: NOV. 6, 1995 (AGE 18) |
“He’s a very interesting player in the sense that he’s quietly efficient. He kills you quietly,” said Tony MacDonald, the Canes’ director of amateur scouting. “At the end of the game you look at the scoresheet, and he’s got three or four points.”
That was a common occurrence in the 2013-14 season, when Reinhart paced his team and ranked tied for fourth in the Western Hockey League with 105 points (36g, 69a); 48 of those points were posted in a stretch of just 22 games from Dec. 4 to Feb. 28, and his 69 assists set a new franchise record. The captain of the Kootenay Ice, Reinhart ranked second on his team in power-play goals (12) and plus/minus (plus-24). He also led his team with 23 points (6g, 17a) in 13 playoff games, as Kootenay fell to the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL’s Western Conference Finals.
Reinhart, 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, won WHL player of the year honors, and he also received the league’s sportsmanship award after recording just 11 penalty minutes.
“He’s so efficient and so smart,” MacDonald said.
It’s his smarts and hockey IQ that have scouts salivating at his projection: with his offensive talent and responsible defensive game, he could develop into one of the NHL’s top two-way forwards.
“He’s a tremendous distributor of the puck, and he’s very good at finding his wingers,” MacDonald said. “He’s very good in the faceoff circle. He’s an excellent penalty killer and a very good player without the puck.”
As a rookie with Kootenay in 2011-12, Sam skated alongside brother Max and ranked second on the team in scoring with 62 points (28g, 34a), earning WHL rookie of the year honors. In his second full season with the team in 2012-13, Reinhart led the team in scoring with 85 points (35g, 50a) and was named to the WHL second All-Star team.
Reinhart captained Team Canada to a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF U-18 World Championship, recording seven points (3g, 4a) in as many tournament games. He skated with brother Griffin for the Canadian national team in the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, scoring two goals and three assists in seven games.
Considering Reinhart’s overall package – his quiet offensive explosiveness, his deft defensive play, his notable hockey smarts and, of course, his prominent hockey lineage – he figures to be among the best forwards available in this year’s draft.