We continue our 2014 NHL Draft coverage today with another prospect profile; over the next month Defending Big D will be dedicated to covering every aspect of the draft and the Dallas Stars needs and goals heading into the summer.
Today's profile looks at C Sam Reinhart from the Kootenay Ice of the WHL.
Sam Reinhart, 6'1", 187lbs, Shoots Right
Sam Reinhart is in the race for the first overall spot in the 2014 NHL Draft. He's one of a couple of elite level forwards who will be battling it out in the top five spots of the draft. Sam Reinhart will be the third Reinhart brother to be drafted.
Reinhart is the complete player. He is as dangerous defensively as he is offensively and he has the all around game that will potentially make him a top line center in the NHL. He has top end hockey IQ and knows where he has to be defensively and offensively. Even under extreme pressure Reinhart makes the smart choice and shows a level of consistency that isn't common for prospects of his age.
One interesting note about Reinhart's game is that despite tying fourth for the WHL's scoring race he isn't a hugely flashy player offensively. He gets it done without needing to use the flashier and riskier moves that some others would have to. His intelligence and quickness of thinking lets him make the simple play without having to take risks. Whether this is a weakness is up to the individual but however it looks like, Reinhart has been getting it done in the WHL.
His skating, will being good, isn't the best in the draft. He's still fast but in a way that you don't really notice Reinhart getting up to speed. Still, Reinhart has the potential to be a top line center in the NHL and it's likely that he will be able to play in the NHL next year. He still needs to put on a bit of weight and upper body strength though if he wants to reach his potential in the pros.
Scouting Reports from around the web:
Reinhart is a nice blend of poise, maturity and a high hockey IQ. He's got creative hands, excellent vision and superb instinct in the offensive end. He's able to slow things down and dissect the play. He battles hard and is a true team leader.
An elite talent who is battling to be the 1st overall selection, Reinhart has improved each year in the WHL, recording 105 points this season. He's a premier set-up center who can also play the wing when needed. A great face-off man, Reinhart shows maturity with the puck well beyond his years. He controls the pace of the game and makes it easy to get by defensemen with his quick hands and dynamic skating.
Reinhart has excellent hockey sense and vision. He seems to know where the puck is going before it gets there and finds the openings in the defence. He has excellent stickhandling and puck protection skills, which when coupled with his good vision and passing make him an excellent playmaker. Reinhart is one of those special types of centres who has the ability to make his linemates better.