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Draft Tracker

JW Draft Tracker - Is Reinhart the pick?

Jeremy White

Do the Sabres consider Sam Reinhart to be a generational talent? Sabres Assistant GM Kevin Devine heaped heavy praise on the Kootenay forward.  Devine says, on playmaking ability, Reinhart might be the best to come out in a decade.

Sam Reinhart has been a highly touted prospect for as long as anyone has been talking about the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.  At the release of the NHL Central Scouting Midterm Rankings, Reinhart’s ranking as the fourth best skater came as a surprise to many.  He moved up to the third overall spot in the final rankings behind Sam Bennett and Aaron Ekblad.

While NHL Central Scouting ranks Reinhart #3, ISS (International Scouting Services) which includes North American and European prospects in the same master list, has him at the top.

This morning we asked Devine what it is about Reinhart that would make him worthy of the #2 overall pick.  

“It goes back to hockey sense.  I don’t know that I’ve seen a guy that can make plays like Sam can in the last 10 to 15 years…his playmaking ability.  That’s the thing that stands out for him.  He sees the ice really well.  Knows how long to hold the puck, when to pass it, when to shoot it…just uncanny hockey sense.

“I haven’t seen a guy that can make plays like Sam with the puck, in the playmaking sense, over the last 10 to 15 years.”

Devine seems to be more impressed with Reinhart than many others, but there’s no denying the talent and the vision.  Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus and ESPN writes of Reinhart:

“best pure passer in the draft class. His ability to dictate tempo elevates his game to a distinct level. Reinhart can make all kinds of plays with the puck, and his elite hockey sense stands out regularly in terms of the passing lanes he sees that even an observer with a bird's-eye view may not spot. He has great hands and can make a lot of plays when he goes one-on-one against a defenseman. He has average size (6-1, 183 pounds), but will work hard in battles and can play an average physical game, although I have heard some scouts criticize him in that area. One of the skills that distinguishes Reinhart is his smart play in the defensive zone, shutting down top players and possessing top-quality abilities on the penalty kill.”

The hockey smarts seem to be a big part of the selling point on Reinhart.  Devine talks hockey smarts.  Tim Murray praises his hockey IQ, saying that every time he’s seen Reinhart, he’s the smartest player on the ice.

We asked Samson (sweet name right?) about those bloodlines, and the hockey smarts that come with it.  He admits it’s a strength of his game, and that he’s quite proud of it.

“Dad and I got talking…about what you’re thinking on the ice.  He’s thinking back to when he played and he doesn’t ever recall thinking ‘Oh I have to be here’.  I never know what I’m thinking out there.  It’s probably a nice trait to have, and it sounds like something I have picked up from my dad.”

“It’s not something you can teach.”




What are the odds the Sabres swing for Samson Reinhart at #2?  I’d say it’s a very good bet.  Perhaps it is hyperbole from Devine and he’s trying to smoke-screen the Panthers, but I don’t think that’s all that likely.  The Panthers, in my opinion are more likely to take top d-man Aaron Ekblad or Sam Bennett (who might be more suited to play the wing).  Florida has good youth down the middle with former Calder winner Jonathan Huberdeau and last year’s second overall pick, Alex Barkov.

Consider just how much the Sabres seem to like Reinhart…if they end up passing on him, it’d be a good indication of their belief in the player they take instead.

The draft is June 27th.

06/04/2014 2:12PM
JW Draft Tracker - Is Reinhart the pick?
Please enter your comments below.
06/04/2014 3:02PM
Reinhart is the pick. Lets hope Florida doesn't s crew the pooch and trade the #1 pick.
06/04/2014 3:37PM
Reinhart should be the pick and Kevin Devine is the Tom Modrak of the Sabres
If Ekblad is gone, then Reinhart has to be the pick. Any other player other than Reinhart or Bennett at #2 and the Sabres will have failed the draft. Draistl is and should not be worthy of the 2nd pick and if it's him you mark my words that this organozation will be permanently damaged forever. They screwed it up last year in drafting Ristolainen instead of Nikushkin. Nikushkin is a Russian (unlike Grigorhenko) that could have stepped in and helped this team from day #1. This team should not be looking to draft players or projects that need development. They absolutley under any and all circumstances must draft a player that is NHL ready in October. Which brings me to my next point. Why on earth is Kevin Devine still here ???!! He was Darcy's hand picked assistant GM and helped to destroy this team with some historically bad draft picks and FA acquisitions. It's the same scenario where the Bills kept around Tom Modrak after a new coach and GM were brought in. This Devine is one of the all time worst talent evaluators and personnel men in the entire history of the NHL. He should not be able to come within 100 miles of any NHL team. He should instead have a job selling Kirby vacuum cleaners or fuller brushes door to door. Hopefully Murray comes to his senses soon and cans him. He should want to bring in his own man as assistant rather than keep around this bozo.
06/04/2014 3:53PM
Although would like to mortgage alot(almost anything except Sabres and Isles 2015 picks and Ristolainen/Zadurov/Girgensons) to get both Sam's I'd say try throw next years Blues no 1, couple 2nd rounders, Erhoff, probably even more(prospect, stafford?) whatever it takes...get high end talent
06/04/2014 4:45PM
Another Pominville
We don't need any more players like that. I am sure he will be fine in the regular season, but disappear come playoffs. Please come out of this draft with either Ekblad or Bennett.
06/04/2014 4:53PM
I think the Sabres will take Reinhart too.
Assuming Ekblad isn't available. I think Florida is trading their pick and whoever takes their spot will take Ekblad. But personally I like Bennett. I've seen videos of both Reinhart and Bennett, and was more amazed at Bennett's playmaking and scoring abilities. I was saying "Oh WOW!" at some of his plays. Nothing like that passed my lips when watching Reinhart. But this is nothing new...I haven't agreed with Devine's first pick since they drafted Myers.
06/04/2014 11:14PM
Best Option
I want him, a playmaker and high hockey IQ. Better than Sam "No Pull-ups" Bennett
06/04/2014 11:32PM
"...generational talent?"
Nobody in this year's draft is THAT good, so please just stop. Can't you just get a good player and be happy with that? I mean really, it's the second overall pick but it is in a very thin draft; just count your blessings that Ted Nolan and his "run for respectibility" didn' t land you at 4th overall. I am a bit disappointed because Eckblad is going to be a solid defenseman for the Panthers and he is the best of the three by far. Oh well, the genius Buffalo fans can start gearing up to be disappointed next year when (insert team here) gets the first pick and takes McDavid. 0-45 is it Mr. Pegula? Yeah, that's what I thought.
06/05/2014 7:23AM
That want Reinhart. Haven't we seen enough "quiet leaders" here recently? All you fools that want Reinhart may as well advocate bringing back that good old team of Gaustad, Pominville, etc. Oh and you "no pull ups" fools, Drew Doughty and Brett Hull also did no pull ups but both were strong enough to lift the cup over their heads, which is all I care about.
06/05/2014 8:06AM
Dysfunction Junction continues.
Any team that picks its' General Manager AFTER selecting its' coach clearly doesn't know what it is doing. Considering that the Buffalo Sabres have done just that, we need to realize that nothing has truly changed under the ownership of Terry Pegula with this organization. Did anyone watch Game 1 last night? THAT is what you get when your team is built around goaltending. The Kings were all over NY from the late first onward. The Rangers should have simply gone home after they went up by two. Yes, Lundqvist is a good goalie; but not even Hasek could win a Cup all by his lonesome. THAT is what you will get with a second-rate coach like Ted Nolan because that is what he knows. Throw in a $3 billion dumba$$ owner and guess what the future holds? At least the Bills seem to be trying.
06/05/2014 8:41AM
I'm still stuck on getting Bobby Ryan. I'd say that 95% of this article was prepped by the Paulrus for the Nerd. It sounds just like the Paulrus.
06/05/2014 12:16PM
I would have to trust Devine....I mean he makes more money than most of us scouting hockey players and yet theres us pros here that know more than he does.... I have a feeling the Sabres will be looking at these blogs on draft day so they can get our expert picks on this years draft.... That being said Id love to see them pick up both Sams this year and make a splash for our future....
06/05/2014 2:54PM
it just doesn't matter
No matter who they select, we're not going to see the guy for 2-3 years. By then we'll be waiting for mcdavid or echols to show up and will have forgotten who we picked. I'm wondering if armia will ever play a role or turn into zach kassian.
06/05/2014 4:37PM
Re: Reinhart should be the pick and Kevin Devine is the Tom Modrak of the Sabres
I'd take Eckblad if he's available. Otherwise, pick a Sam and pray he turns out ok. The rest of what you say is spot on.
06/05/2014 4:41PM
Love all you jokers who think you know so much about these prospects. Nobody knows how their careers will play out so do yourselves a favor. Stop making fools of yourselves with ridiculous comments like 'this organization will be damaged forever'. Thats a joke and your a joke.
06/05/2014 6:38PM
...will prove to be the best player of this draft. He's a one of a kind player, maybe best D man since Orr. All who dont get him will lament it. I trade ANY D-man-(men)we have to trade up & take him.
06/05/2014 7:33PM
Yeah, its time WGR makes personnel changes over there at the studio and in the beat reporting. Get some real sports people over there and rid the doopa yashes.
06/05/2014 10:08PM
No point in having a playmaker with good hockey IQ
If you have no one for them to dish it off to. Cody Hodgson is a defensive zone mess but he DOES have a lot of offensive skill and is a very very good play maker and passer. Problem is, he spent the last 60 games passing to Brian Flynn, Matt D'Agostini, Ville Leino and Kevin Porter. The Sabres need to pick whichever Sam is better at putting the puck in the net. Not the one with the best "vision" or "hockey IQ" or any of that.
06/06/2014 9:26AM
Fast Fact
Rangers lose game one as Howard weeps. Didn't talk much about it yesterday. Awful quiet. What a doopa yash. GO KINGS!!!
06/06/2014 11:11AM
Re: No point in having a playmaker with good hockey IQ
Cody Hodgson is NOT a playmaker nor passer, that was Vanek who made Hodgson look good for nearly two seasons not vice versa. It was a mistake giving Hodgson that contract before last season and we can thank good 'ol Darcy for that albatross around the Sabres' necks much like we can thank him for the 4 mill a year handout to the useless Drew Stafford. I agree with the rest of your discussion, but let's not give too much credit to a second nearly third line center that, like any one dimensional player, cannot play D.
06/17/2014 6:05AM
Regier's failures
Yes Regier was a failure, his team failed when Dallas beat them in 6 games. Yes Regier was a failure, his team failed when Ruff decided to match lines against Jagr and Lemieux. Yes Regier was a failure, his team lost 5 defense-men and still almost beat Carolina. Yes Regier was a failure, when Ruff could never put together a checking line to stop the Ottawa's trio (Heatley, Alfie and Spezza) who averaged 2 goals a game against Buffalo. Yes, Regier was a failure, he should have known that the players he obtained would be flops here in Buffalo but regain their scoring touch when they left Buffalo and Ruff was no longer their coach. Yes, Regier was a failure.
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