Team: Kootenay Ice (WHL)
Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.
Weight: 183 lbs
Projected: Top 5 Pick
Sam Reinhart is the best all-around player in this year's class. The center from Vancouver's most outstanding attribute is his hockey sense but he also boasts great poise, hands, vision, passing, and leadership. Reinhart is projected to be one of the top players selected this summer, if not the first overall pick.
Once he gets to the NHL he is almost certainly projected to be a first line center, cast in the mold of John Tavares because of his leadership abilities and great hockey IQ. He's less of a sniper and more of a puck distributor than Tavares is, though.
"He has a complete game at both ends of the ice. He does everything well. He won't get you overly excited, but from a coaching perspective, he's the guy you always want on the ice in critical situations. He's your go-to guy and team leader and is just going to be consistent at the junior level, and eventually the pro level."
"Sam is extremely responsible in any area of the ice," Central Scouting's B.J. MacDonald told NHL.com. "He has exceptional anticipation and is a very good opportunist; having the ability to make something out of nothing. He can dish the puck effortlessly to both sides and have very high hockey IQ, is sneaky good and dangerous every shift."
Where He Would Fit
The major need for Nashville right now is scoring and Reinhart has the ability to bring that to the team, whether by setting up others or scoring himself. Reinhart's fantastic passing ability allows him to consistently find people on the ice. This would make him very effective on a team with a plethora of players with powerful shots (Forsberg, Wilson, Ellis, and Weber are a few who come to mind). Reinhart also has shown that he can find ways to get open and put the puck in the back of the net.
Despite Nashville having an abundance of natural centers in their lineup, they don't have a true number one. Colin Wilson might be able to fill that role one day but he also might be better suited as a left wing and Craig Smith has never shown enough consistency for management to say, "that's our guy." Reinhart would be that number one.
Reinhart would be able to put up a lot of points for Nashville but he would have to fall pretty far (or have the Preds get very lucky and win the lottery) in order for David Poile to select him.
*Information obtained by eliteprospects.com, NHL.com, and draftsite.com.
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