After months of speculation and anticipation, the Buffalo Sabres made it official on Friday, selecting Kootenay center Sam Reinhart with the second overall pick in the NHL Draft.
The 18-year-old Reinhart heads to the Sabres' organization with four years of WHL experience under his belt, including a 2013-14 season that saw him net a career-high 36 goals and 105 points. He also suited up for Team Canada in the 2014 World Junior Championship, picking up two goals and three assists in seven games.
Standing 6'1" and weighing 185 pounds, Reinhart is said to possess a high amount of hockey smarts and maturity.
"I think I use my hockey sense to my advantage," Reinhart said. "I seem to be in the right place at the right time. I think when I come in, I make players around me better and I can kind of fit with any player, and I'm pretty versatile."
He comes from a hockey family -- his father, Paul, played 11 seasons for the Atlanta/Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. Reinhart's brothers, Max and Griffin, are property of the Flames and Islanders, respectively. Having close relatives with draft experience turned into a benefit for Reinhart. "I was pretty comfortable and familiar with the [draft] process and thrilled with the way it turned out," he told Hockey Hotline on WGR 550.
Reinhart is already somewhat familiar with two current Sabres, having recently spent time with Tyler Myers and Cody Hodgson. "I was fortunate enough to go up with Team Canada for a couple days this past April and practice a couple of times and play an exhibition game with them," he said. "We talked about the possibility of maybe being teammates in the future. They're both great guys and I'm excited to be a part of it."
When asked about the possibility of suiting up for the Sabres next season, Reinhart didn't flinch. "The biggest thing was them was asking if I feel ready and that's the most important thing for me," he said. "I'm very motivated to make the jump next year and I feel like I'm ready, and I'm going to continue to prepare even more. I'm looking forward to getting a chance to start a nice, long career in Buffalo."
Listen to Reinhart's entire interview with the guys from Hockey Hotline below.
Sabres Get Their Sam: Reinhart Goes #2 Overall
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Hopefully he is better than Grigerenko. 6'1" 185 at 18 years of age. He probably fills out at close to 200 in two to three years.
Hope this is the start of something special
With Eckblad gone, I wanted them to take Reinhart. I've watched a lot of his games in the WHL and he was very impressive. Sure the WHL is nothing compared to the NHL but he's only 18. We'll just have to wait n see how his game transitions to the NHL but I'm happy with the pick. I would of lost my mind if they would of taken anyone at #2 not named Sam!
AHL age minimum should be changed
There should not be a 20 year old age minimum to play in the AHL. Reinhart is ready for the next step in his career eventhough he is only 18. The reason why the AHL is around is to develop players and Sam Reinhart should be in Rochester next season to do so. I don't think it is right that he can't.
Looks like a solid pick- BUT also looks like Murray is not the "wonderboy" he portrays? I read all the hype and think that he is all mouth and no action? maybe he has scared away any potential trade partners because he is supposed to be a wheeler dealers?
Myers Trade? When?
Come on Murray wtf! All evening I heard the Canucks made you an offer for this bum and you dont pull the trigger? You have tons of depth on D so why not jettison this fragile player who has and never will live up to his 1st season. Youve really disappointed me! Even Darcy Regier couldve closed his eyes and picked Reinhart. Very very disappointing. Wheres the trade of that slug Chris Stewart? All this hype and nothing!
All this hype and more hype about this draft and the Sabres ready to make trades, wheel and deal and NOTHING.
Why is Tyler "hit em w/your purse" Myers and Chris Stewart still on this team? Awful totally awful
This kid is going to be the next Drury! The Sabres are going to be a powerhouse in the next couple years...
Seriously, hasn't the past 45 years taught you Sabre fans anything? The Sabres picked him so he will probably end up being no good. Even if he turns out to be good he will have 1 or 2 good seasons with the Sabres then want a trade and out of Buffalo because he will want to be on a winning team with a good history and better ownership and management. As a player you only come to Buffalo because you are forced to not because you want to. As soon as a decent player has options they run as fast as they can to get out of Buffalo. Nothing will ever change. Don't believe me? Well then believe this......45 years in existence and the Sabes have 0 Stanley Cups and only 2 Finals appearances. Plus in a league where any NHL team has better than 50% odds at making the playoffs the Sabres consistently over their 45 year history failed to even make the playoffs. That says it all!!
WGR finally getting it right
Shillvester part of a golf show this morning on 'GR. The right show to have for the Sabres. Where was Peters? Let's call it Fairway to "Hockey" Heaven.
Let's not get carried away here. The Bulldozing hasn't even begun and the scrap hasn't been removed yet. The real excitement hopefully begins July 1st.
You dont take chances when you get the opportunity to add sure fire players. Wanna be GM's do that not real ones
I can believe that I wasted some of my like reading the negative comments from above. Given this players hockey smarts and play making ability, the sky is the limit for this player as long as the work is put in. It's too bad there are Sabres fans out there who do not realize what a team consists of. Another year in the minors to help get a high draft pick...er I mean for the development of this player will pay dividends a few years out.
Sabres draft so far: Let's keep it going that way
NO EURO'S PLEASE.
1 more year to go
I am happy they drafted Reinhart. Torn between him and Bennett (I see him as a Dustin Brown type) but feel he has the higher ceiling and longer career expectancy.
Only trade I would have liked probably would have cost way too much. I really wanted DeAngelo and/or Ho-Sang at the bottom of the first round.
Hope they leave Reinhart in Juniors next year with specific directions to the Kootenay coach for areas to improve his game. I don't see him being able to learn or appreciate the NHL when we will get our teeth kicked in for 82 games. IF he does make the club, he must play #1 center with a combination of Hodgson/Ennis or Moulson if he comes back and Foligno/Stafford. A guy that can finish and a guy that can play the boards.
All this trade talk and NOTHING
Murray is another "phony" like Regeir. All talk...No Action. Look at the Canucks...that's bulldozing. They were busy. And we're stuck with Stafford, Ennis, Weber, and the rest of this Joke.
only an idiot would trade myers and stewart before their prime. they need players to play with. what did u want Vancouver's scrubs?
RE: All this trade talk and NOTHING
NEWSFLASH: NO ONE WANTS WALMART GARBAGE!!! ARE YOU DEAF?