We close out our top prospects series with ISS Hockey by looking at their number-one ranked prospect, Sam Reinhart. Although it is expected that the Florida Panthers will select Aaron Ekblad with the first overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, crazier things have happened. See: 2013 NHL Entry Draft and Seth Jones. As with most players in this year’s draft, Reinhart isn’t expected to make an immediate difference to the team that drafts him, but with some seasoning, he could be an impact player.
In 203 regular season games for the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League (WHL), Reinhart has tallied a whopping 254 points (101G – 153A). During the 2014 playoffs, Reinhart played in 13 games and put up 23 points (6G – 17A). Depending on the team that drafts him, he could spend another year in junior and completely dominate. If not, he’ll be given a chance to make an instant impression. Remember, he won’t be old enough to play in the American Hockey League, so it’s either the NHL or WHL for Reinhart.
Below, we go in-depth with Dennis MacInnis, Director of Scouting at ISS Hockey, to find out what he thinks makes Reinhart so much better than the rest of the pack. In this video on NHL.com, Reinhart says that he tries to match his game to the style of Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks. If Reinhart can become that same type of player, your favorite team will hate playing against him.
If you would like more information on the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and the prospects available for it, make sure to visit ISShockey.com. You can also purchase a draft guide to give you even more details about the prospects eligible for the 2014 Draft.
Born – November 6, 1995
Birthplace – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Position – C
Shoots – Right
Height – 6’1″
Weight – 185 lbs.
Penalty Box Radio: Briefly describe what makes Reinhart’s skill-set unique from others in the draft.
Dennis MacInnis: He’s an amplifier. He has terrific vision and is always a step ahead of every other player on the ice when he has the puck.
PBR: What three teams that did not make the playoffs could benefit most from drafting Reinhart and why?
DM: Buffalo – His play-making ability and ability to control a PP is something every team can build around.
Calgary – He would be an excellent 1-2 punch with [Sean] Monahan moving forward and give them a strong offensive backbone and identity to build around.
Vancouver – He’s a BC kid and would be an excellent addition to a roster with centerpieces getting older.
PBR: What current NHL player would he be similar to once Reinhart reaches his prime?
DM: Patrice Bergeron
PBR: What ability does Reinhart have that would strike fear into opponents?
DM: He can make you look very bad if you give him any time or space when he has the puck…and even sometimes when you don’t give him the time or space.
PBR: Can you see Reinhart playing immediately in the 2014-2015 NHL season? If not, how far away is he?
DM: Ideally, he would be given another year to dominate the junior ranks and gain confidence instead of gambling on him developing losing habits with a bad team. He could play, but it would be best for him to wait a year.
*Pictures courtesy of Kootenay Ice*