Weight: 185 lbs.
2013-14 team: Kootenay (WHL)
Acquired: Taken in the 1st round (2nd overall) in the 2014 draft
Last year's ranking: N/A
What is there to say about Sam Reinhart that hasn't already been said? The first forward taken in this year's draft, Reinhart is the clearly the top player in the system yet to play in the NHL.
Reinhart was ranked third among North American skaters coming into the draft, but was considered by many as the best all-around forward. His hockey IQ is very strong and although he isn't the type of player that blows your socks off he tends to dictate the play. He has a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
Last season Reinhart was named the WHL Player of the Year, the CHL Sportsman of the Year, and to the WHL first-team.
He's displayed strong leadership skills as well. He was Kootenay's captain last season and will be Canada's captain at the World Junior tournament this season.
Based on talent alone, Reinhart deserves to be in Buffalo this season. But will he be? He almost certainly will be on the team for the first nine games of the year, but when the Sabres need to decide whether or not to burn a year of his ELC the decision may be to send him back to Kootenay. Unless he gets top-two line minutes the team could see Reinhart being up as a waste, and may not want him to be around a team that loses so frequently.
Even if he did stay in Buffalo, the Sabres would likely allow him to participate in the World Juniors like they did with Rasmus Ristolainen last season.
He's the current face of the future for the Sabres, the crown jewel of the prospect pool.Although he projects as more of a second-line center than a first, he's certainly worth being excited about. We aren't talking about a Sidney Crosby or a Steven Stamkos selection, but Reinhart should be a very solid player for years to come in Buffalo.
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