Sam Reinhart Sits As Healthy Scratch


To say the 2nd overall pick Sam Reinhart has not had a good start to the season would be an understatement. While he looked good during rookie camp and okay during the preseason, Reinhart has looked just lost on the ice during the regular season. A boy playing in a mans league, Reinhart is done to roughly 7 minutes of ice time a game and on Saturday night he won’t get any.

Buffalo Sabres head coach Ted Nolan announced before the game that forward Sam Reinhart would indeed be a healthy scratch ahead of tonights match with the Boston Bruins. Whether this is for his safety against the Bruins or because he simply looks lost out on the ice, it’s a major telling point that the 18 year-old will likely be heading back to junior.

With 0 points and just 2 shots on game during his first 5 games with the Buffalo Sabres, it’s not hard to tell that Reinhart looks out of place. Not necessarily a bad thing, just a sign he’s not ready for full time NHL play as of yet. From the start the consensus was that he would get his 9 game tryout and then be returned to the WHL for the reminder of the year and he’s benching tonight only helps to prove that point.

"“He’s a young player that’s still learning, so we’ll let him watch a game and then see how he comes (away) from that.” ~ Ted Nolan"

The Buffalo Sabres drafted Reinhart with their 2nd overall pick at the 2014 draft and questions arose immediately over whether or not he’d be ready for the NHL this season or whether the Sabres should even both keeping him up. He recorded 105 points during a 60 game campaign with the Kooteney Ice of the WHL last season and doesn’t have much more to learn hockey wise.

However, a little more size and speed could certainly help the young prospect who began the season on the second line with Cody Hodgson and captain Brian Gionta. Last night he was down on the fourth line with just over 7 minutes of ice between Nicolas Deslauriers and Cody McCormick, not a place the Sabres need him to be playing for development.

It’s key that the Sabres don’t mess around with Reinhart’s development like they did with Mikhail Grigorenko and send him back to junior before his contract kicks into gear. Reinhart is a talented player but just not ready for the full-time NHL swing as of yet.

Mikhail Grigorenko on the other hand has been doing quite well in Rochester and was very impressive during training camp. The belief is that when and if Reinhart is sent down, Grigorenko will be the first to get a call which he most certainly deserves right now.

For now at least Sam Reinhart will be good first round company for Nikita Zadorov who can’t find his way out of the Sabres press box and onto the ice at either the NHL or OHL level.