With that second overall pick, the Sabres selected the player whom it was widely speculated they would take, 6’1 and 183 lbs. center Sam Reinhart who plays for the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League (WHL). Reinhart, 18, is a right-handed forward who can also play on the wing.
Reinhart has played 203 games with the Kootenay Ice since the 2010-2011 season, where he has amassed 101 goals and 153 assists for 254 total points. He also had 35 penalty minutes and was rated a plus-52 during his time with the Ice. He served as the team’s captain during the 2013-2014 season, scoring 36 goals and adding 69 assists for 105 points in 60 games.
He has also played in 29 playoff games with the Ice, recording seven goals and 19 assists for 26 points, while accumulating six penalty minutes and a minus-7 rating. Six goals and seven of those assists came in 13 games during this year’s playoffs.
Reinhart was awarded with the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy in 2012 as the WHL’s “rookie of the year”, and was awarded with Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as “player of the year” and the Brad Hornung Trophy as the “most sportsmanlike player” in 2014.
Sam is the youngest son of former NHLer Paul Reinhart, who played 11 seasons in the NHL from 1979 to 1990 (nine with the Atlanta/Calgary Flames and two with the Vancouver Canucks). His oldest brother Max was drafted by the Calgary Flames 64th overall in the 2010 NHL draft, making his debut with the team in 2013. Another brother, Griffin, was drafted fourth overall by the New York Islanders in the 2012 NHL draft, and currently plays with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL.
Despite being only 18, Reinhart feels he can step in and make an impact with the Sabres right away next season.
“I think the biggest thing is I feel ready to play. It’s a young team. I’m very familiar with the organization and I’ve pictured myself in this uniform for a very long time,” sad Reinhart. “I’m very excited and I’m very motivated to step into the League next year with a young team that’s developing very well and to make an impact.”