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Family ties run strong in opening round of NHL Draft

by Staff

Sam Reinhart now owns family bragging rights when it comes to the NHL Draft.

Sam became the third member of the Reinhart family to be taken in the first round of the draft when the Buffalo Sabres selected him with the second choice Friday. That's two picks earlier than older brother Griffin Reinhart was taken by the New York Islanders in 2012 and 10 choices earlier than his dad, Paul Reinhart, was taken by the Atlanta Flames in 1979. Another older brother, Max Reinhart, was the 63rd player taken in 2010 when he went to the Calgary Flames.

Reinhart was one of nine players taken in the first round who had family ties to professional hockey:

Leon Draisaitl (No. 3, Edmonton Oilers) -- His father, Peter, was a Czech-born German professional hockey player who participated in international tournaments for Germany as a member of their men's national team, including the 1988, 1992 and 1998 Winter Olympics. Peter has coached professionally in Germany and the Czech Republic.

William Nylander (No. 8, Toronto Maple Leafs) -- Michael Nylander, William's father, had 679 points, including 209 goals, in a 920-game, 15-season NHL career with the Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning, Chicago Blackhawks, Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers.

Nikolaj Ehlers (No. 9, Winnipeg Jets) -- His father, Heinz Ehlers, was selected No. 188 by the New York Rangers in the 1984 NHL Draft and played in European professional leagues from 1981-2004.

Nicholas Ritchie (No. 10, Anaheim Ducks) -- Older brother Brett Ritchie was selected in the second round (No. 44) by the Dallas Stars in 2011 and played for the Texas Stars who won the American Hockey League's Calder Cup in 2013-14.

Brendan Perlini (No. 12, Arizona Coyotes) -- Fred Perlini, Brendan's father, played eight games with the Toronto Maple Leafs after being taken with the 158th pick in the 1980 NHL Draft. Brendan began his hockey career in the United Kingdom, where his dad worked as the director of a hockey program after his playing career ended in 1997 with the Guildford Flames of the British Hockey League.

Nick Schmaltz (No. 20, Chicago Blackhawks) -- Older brother Jordan Schmaltz was selected by the St. Louis Blues with the 25th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft and plays defense for the University of North Dakota. Nick is expected to join him there in the fall.

Kasperi Kapanen (No. 22, Pittsburgh Penguins) -- He's the son of Sami Kapanen, who was selected by the Hartford Whalers in the fourth round (No. 87) of the 1995 NHL Draft, and had 458 points, including 189 goals, in 831 NHL games with the Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes and Philadelphia Flyers.

John Quenneville (No. 30, New Jersey Devils) -- Older brother Peter Quenneville was selected in the seventh round (No. 195) by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2013 NHL Draft, and his younger brother, David Quenneville, made his WHL debut this season with the Medicine Hat Tigers. His uncle by marriage is Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk and his second cousin is former NHL defenseman and current Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville.

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