Entering the 2010 Draft with no selections in either of the first two rounds, the Flames opted for a conventional selection with their first pick in the draft (64th overall): they chose the son of a former NHLer.
The eldest of former Flames blueliner Paul Reinhart’s three sons, Max Reinhart is notable in that he’s exceptionally well-rounded, but seems to not be all that exceptional at any one thing. Playing in virtually every situation possible with the Kootenay Ice, Reinhart’s stock rose dramatically during the 2010-11 season, scoring 79 points in 71 games and helping lead the team to a WHL championship. This past season, while the team was thinned out by injuries and players turning pro, Reinhart still managed to produce steady offense as well as leadership and grit.
When Reinhart’s club was eliminated from the WHL playoffs, he headed to Abbotsford and adapted rather quickly – scoring twice in the last game of the AHL regular season and putting up two points in four playoff games. Max’s progression would be remarkable for most players, but it seems to be par for the course for him.
|Player||Kent||Justin||WI||Scott||VF||Arik (not counted)|
*Reminder – The evaluators were asked to rank players, and we sorted the rankings via a simple point scale-number 15 on each list got one point, while number 1 on each list got 15. The criteria for who was included was pretty simple: players the Flames control who are 23 and under (excluding Mikael Backlund, since he’s already a bona fide NHLer).
Max’s biggest asset seems to be his hockey sense. Having grown up with a father (and a coach) that was a very good NHLer for a long time, he seems to have inherited his ability to see the game develop and read situations. He spent a week or so watching AHL hockey from the sidelines and was able to jump in and provide grit and offense in his first game. That’s insanely rare, particularly given that more skilled offensive players (Bryan Cameron and Ryan Howse) prepared all summer for the AHL after finishing major junior and floundered.
Considering his lack of pro experience, Max Reinhart is likely ear-marked for some time in Abbotsford next season. That’s great, given that his style of play falls right into coach Troy Ward’s wheelhouse, and that Reinhart is already used to being a leader on an offensive-starved team. That said, Reinhart’s early success at the AHL level suggests his tools may be more needed in Calgary than on the farm.
If this was any other player, I’d be worried that the Flames are rushing him to the NHL. But considering that the organization is a bit light on bottom-six talent that can chip in offensively, and that Reinhart can play on both special teams units, perhaps it’s not too soon.
The other Reinhart brothers may already have NHL talent on their hands, but Max seems to be the one with an NHL mind. If his talent can progress in short order, the Flames could have a steal of a player on their hands.
|Player||Kent||Justin||WI||Scott||VF||Arik [NC]||Final Rank|