Reinhart looking to make an impression at CHL Top Prospects Game
After falling in CSS rankings from first to fourth, centre Sam Reinhart is looking to turn in a big game at Wednesday's CHL Top Prospects contest
CALGARY, AB - The Reinhart name is a familiar one amongst hockey circles, with two of the three sons of former National Hockey League All-Star defenceman Paul Reinhart being drafted to the league (Max, picked in the third round by the Calgary Flames in 2010, is currently playing for their affiliate the Abbotsford Heat and Griffin, who was picked fourth overall by the New York Islanders in 2012, is currently playing for the Oil Kings in the WHL.)
And now, it’s the youngest Reinhart making headlines. Sam is currently in his NHL draft year and was ranked first for most of the draft calendar but now he is fourth in the Central Scouting Midterm Rankings (released January 13, 2014).
“No not really,” Reinhart said when asked if he follows the rankings. “It’s kind of hard to get away from it, for the most part but, [I’m] not to focused on it at all.”
He’s come a long way since his 15th overall WHL Bantam Draft in 2010 by the Kootenay Ice, where he made his WHL debut as a bright-eyed 15 year old.
In the 2010-11 season, he would tally two goals and was plus four in the regular season for the Ice, where he appeared in four regular season games, seven playoff games and one Memorial Cup game.
In the 2011-2012 season, he was the second-leading goal scorer (having scored 28 goals with 34 assists in 67 games) for the Ice, behind his older brother, Max, and was named the WHL’s Rookie of the Year. That season he also represented Canada in the U18 World Junior Championship where he scored two goals and four assists as Canada captured the bronze medal. He also played for Canada Pacific in the U17 World Hockey Challenge where he scored four goals and six assists.
In his second season with the Ice in 2012-2013, Reinhart was their leading goal scorer, having scored 35 goals with 50 assists and was plus eight with 22 penalty minutes in 72 WHL games. He was a team captain for Canada's U18 team in both the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial and 2013 World Junior Championship tournaments. He scored three goals with five assists and was plus seven in five games as Canada won the gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka tournament and scored three goals with four assists and was plus seven in seven games for Canada as the team captured a gold medal at the U18 WJC.
Only a few weeks into the New Year, it’s already been a busy one for the 18 year old, who recently returned to the Kootenay Ice (where he has logged 18-35-53 in 34 games) after his first U20 World Juniors showing in late December.
In his first game back, Reinhart’s Ice took on older brother Griffin’s Oil Kings on January 12th, where they would ice the Oil Kings, 5-4 with two of their goals and an assist coming from their captain, Reinhart.
“The transition was pretty quick to come here [Calgary] right from Kootenay, so I think it was important to have a good comeback there and keep the confidence up for this game [CHL Top Prospect Game],” said Reinhart.
With no signs of his schedule slowing down, Reinhart travelled to Calgary Monday for the Bank of Montreal (BMO) annual Canadian Hockey League (CHL)/ NHL’s Top Prospects game, held at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday (7 p.m., Sportsnet) where he would fill the familiar captaincy role, this time, for Team Cherry.
“It’s been pretty hectic, busy week or so, but I’ve found time to relax and clear my head a little bit. I’m definitely reenergized for this [Top Prospect game],” said Reinhart. “It’s exciting to be here, obviously with the best players in the CHL and in this draft class, it’s an honour.”
With the roster for this week’s Top Prospects game filled with familiar faces and some unfamiliar, Reinhart can expect to see a well known face in the box with him, his dad, Paul.
“It’ll definitely be fun, it goes back to minor hockey so it’s definitely exciting for us,” said Sam on sharing the experience.
Wednesday’s game is an exciting time for not only Reinhart but, the rest of both Team Cherry and Team Orr.
“At this point everyone wants to show what they can do, I’m sure most guys will have a little extra jump, and everyone’s excited and looking forward to it, so it should be a good one.”