Contract: $894,166, under contract through 2017-18
Introduction: Before the season started, Sam Reinhart was often the forgotten #2 pick behind a certain Mr. Eichel. Especially coming off of a disappointing tryout last year that showed Reinhart wasn't physically ready for the NHL game, most fans probably had lower expectations this season for Samson than for Jack. However, after a stellar rookie campaign that showed off not only his improved physicality but his creativity and skill with the puck, Reinhart has elevated himself to already be one of the team's most productive forwards.
Key Stat: At just under 51%, Reinhart lead all Sabres forwards this season in the almighty Corsi number.
Thumbs Up: Raise your hand if you thought Sam Reinhart was going to finish this season with 23 goals, good for second on the team and third most among all rookie skaters. No hands, huh? Whether you call it vision, playmaking ability, or Hockey IQ, Reinhart has it in spades, and he used it this year to make both himself and his teammates look good. He obviously changed his body this offseason to be able to handle NHL competition, and he was one of the more consistent players on the team from month to month. He also takes very few penalties, finishing with just 8 PIM this year.
Thumbs Down: While Reino has improved his strength last offseason, that work needs to continue so he can be stronger along the boards and continue to improve his puck protection skills. Reinhart also needs to improve play in his own end, as many young players do, but it's not like he was a trainwreck out there. But clearly Reinhart's biggest deficiency is his awful performances on Wednesday: zero points and a -5 in seven games? Get over that hump, Sam.
Memorable Moment: On January 10, Reinhart scored his first career hat trick thanks to some unselfish play by Evander Kane against the Winnipeg Jets.
Voting: Using the good old grade school system of A, B, C, D, F, with A representing a great season (for the Sabres) C an average season, and F a very poor season, grade Sam Reinhart on his performance this year.