Prospect Profiles: Max Reinhart



Max Reinhart’s final junior season this year was neither under nor overwhelming – he didn’t blow the doors off a la Sven Baertschi, but he also didn’t fall off the map either. The former third rounder led the admittedly punchless Kootenay Ice in scoring this season with 78 points in 61 games and by all accounts was a key cog in just about every situation for his club.

That said, Max was also the oldest of the Flames non-pro prospects and most kids by the time they enter their 20-year old season are carrying the water in the WHL. His output, while good relative to his club, was unimpressive when compared to many of his other peers – for example, Mitch Wahl scored 96 points in his 19-20 year old season and Michael Ferland matched that feat this year (more on him next week).

Parsing the Season

Here is how his numbers broke down this year:

  • Total points: 78
  • Points-per-game: 1.28
  • Powerplay points: 28
  • Even Strength points: 44
  • Short-handed points: 3
  • Total Team offense: 179
  • ES%: 56.4
  • PP%: 35.9
  • Team%: 43.6
  • NHLE: 31

Unlike Baertschi, Reinhart’s numbers are a mixed bag. He actually contributed to total team offense at a slightly higher rate than Baertschi, but he (and the team) scored less frequently overall. His PPG and NHL equivalency were, of course, much lower than Sven’s and middling when compared to the rest of Calgary’s prospects (Granlund, Ferland and Gaudreau all also managed superior NHLE’s).

To some degree we can write this off as a difference in the quality of the two clubs: Baertschi’s Winterhawks scored 106 (!) more goals than Reinhart’s Ice during the regular season. Reinhart was the only skater to break 70-points for Kootenay and his younger brother Sam was only the guy to manage more than 60-points. Portland, on the other hand, boasted three 80+ point getters and would have had two 100+ point men had Baertschi played more than 47 games.

That said, Reinhart has never put up anything more that just okay offensive totals in junior (79 was his career high) so we can safely assume he’s not going to be a big time scorer at the pro level, even if he lands with a much more potent club at some point.

Reinhart’s ticket to the big league will have to be his versatility and his smarts. Every scout or coach who watches him for any length of time notes his ability to read the play and be in the right place at the right time on the ice. Those are invaluable skills if they can be translated at the pro level and to some degree can’t really be taught. Plus/minus is a stat that is rightfully condemned, but it’s nevertheless notable Reinhart was a consistent plus player during his time in junior: over the last three seasons, his cumulative +/- was +61, including +19 on a low-scoring team this past year. That suggests Reinhart is usually on the right side of the puck and can outscore the bad guys, even if his club isn’t putting a ton of pucks in the net.


What is somewhat disconcerting is that all these things were true of Flames former second round pick Mitch Wahl before he entered the pro ranks: he was known for his smarts and versatility, freuqently took on the other team’s best players, had a huge cumulative plus/minus in junior but just okay scoring totals. Unfortunately, he fell on his face in the AHL (literally, since he was severely concussed by a big open-ice hit) and has never really found his footing since. Wahl spent the majority of last year in the ECHL and it’s going to be a long hike back up the Flames organizational depth chart for him.

It’s impossible to know to what degree Wahl’s injury cratered his development, but clearly guys like him or Reinhart can go either way when they start playing against men. Here’s hoping Max can get over the hump with the Heat next year and begin to develop into a similarly useful pro player.  

  • Colin.S

    Short-handed points: 44

    Is that supposed to say even-strength points, cuz if the kids is scoring almost twice as many shorthanded points as powerplay points, he must be out of his mind right?

  • I think you hit the nail right on the head Kent. Next year in the AHL will be a big test for Max. He has the chance to develop into a very solid two-way centremen who could be really valuable on the Flames.

    However, as you noted, players with his game/stats in Junior are just too hard to predict.

    I’m a fan of all the rumblings coming out of his brief stint in the AHL this season. Hopefully he can put a whole season together next year.

  • I think Max also brings the intangibles that are hard to qualify with numbers. I hope he can make the transition as I think the Flames need his kind of “jam”. I like the prospect articles, keep them coming

  • The key with Max Reinhart is that everyone will tell you all day long, even opposition players, that he’s whip-smart in a hockey sense. A good degree of that probably comes from a bit of extra coaching from his Dad, but he’s shown a lot in limited viewings.

  • Colin.S

    I think reinharts top potential would be a 2nd line center, but thats if he reaches the very top of his potential, however he most likely will be our third line and very functional center.

  • @Kent

    I don’t mean to denigrate Bezer’s comment, but it makes me nervous when people talk about intangibles when discussing prospects. I feel like when you get into intangible’s you usually are covering up for the fact that the stats don’t back up your own opinion of the player or you are trying to talk yourself into a player that has weaknesses.

    Is there any consensus on how something like “hockey sense” might manifest itself in normal/advanced stats?

    For example, in Reinhart’s case you pointed to his good +/-. Could that or even corsi offer a proxy for figuring out if a player has “good hockey sense?”

    Or is the label of “good hockey sense” at best just a way of expressing that a player is good that rolls off the tongue better than his “corsi is above league average” and at worst a way to make a player whose stats aren’t as good seem like a better hockey player?

    • I’d say that about covers it Ed. I think good hockey sense is necessary (but not sufficient – some high level physical skills are required) for high possession players in the NHL. The smartest guys tend to be on the right side of goals in the long-run and shots/possession in the short run though.

    • SmellOfVictory

      Hockey sense is like physical skill level; it’s there, and it’s not directly measurable, but it’s evident when you see it on the ice, and it contributes to good statistics. I don’t think there’s any particular way we could say that it contibutes positively to a player’s statistics, though.

  • Colin.S

    Enjoy the prospect articles-well researched on the stats side.
    I think Max has much more upside potential than many give him credit.
    I base that not only on his brief performance at the end of the year in Abottsford when the competition and intensity level were higher, but more importantly on his near dominant role in carrying the Ice in last year’s playoffs, again when the competition and intensity increase.
    I would say based on both he is capable of incresing his level of play when the level picks up.
    I also think he was one of the best players at the Prosect Tournament in Penticton and looked good before he was injured at the Flames camp.
    Time will tell but I think there is good reason for optimism.

  • Colin.S

    Reinhart may never become a huge scorer at the NHL, but I do believe he will play. He obviously has the hcokey sense as mentioned, but his skating is also there and he has decent size. He will play, it’s just a matter of what line.

  • I say, draft his brother Griffin and see them take off. It will be a bizarro version of the Sedin twins but could prove useful, especially if Griffin and Max can really mesh.

    If the Flames can EVER get that #1 centreman, I’d say we’d do quite nicely down the middle with Cervenka/Backlund/Reinhart bringing up the bottom 3 lines. Can anybody say Jordan Staal?

  • Colin.S

    Only a matter of time and some seasoning in the minors and he will be with the big club.
    Prior to this draft Calgary is still searching for that # 1 center, in the meantime, having Reinhart in the lineup doesn’t hurt. Along with Horak and Arnold gives the Flames solid center depth at the 3rd and 4th lines.