The 2014 Flames Fifteen – #10: Max Reinhart

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Via the NHL

Last year, Kent ended Max Reinhart’s NHLE analysis like this:

Max Reinhart might get some leeway as a 20-year old pro rookie, but he’ll have to make huge strides as a sophomore to start looking like he’s worth a damn.

Guess what? He did.

The Flames’ first pick in the 2010 NHL Draft (64th overall) comes in at 10 on our countdown.

Don’t look at a ranking this “low” and think that we’re down on Reinhart as a prospect. True, he did rank higher in both of the past two Flames Fifteens – but I’m fairly certain everyone on this site expects Reinhart to be an NHLer. (You’ll see why in a couple grafs.) He hasn’t taken a step backwards, as a cursory glance of this article might suggest. Reinhart just finished up one of the most prolific seasons for a Flames prospect at the AHL level since Theo Fleury, leading the Abbotsford Heat in scoring (21+42 in 66 GP) and finishing 12th overall in the AHL.

  Justin Kent Ryan BoL Byron Taylor Christian 2013 2012
Max Reinhart 9 6 11 11 10 9 11 5 4

Reinhart increased his scoring substantially year-over-year, as he moved up to the second line to start the year and finished up on the first line. Reinhart had some pretty good seasons NHLE-wise in the WHL, scoring 17 in his draft season, 27 in his +1 and 33 in his final year in the ‘Dub. That’s good progression. He hit a bit of a snag last year, though, playing tough PK minutes and skating with PL3 from time to time – dropping his NHLE to just 14. However, he averaged 2.1 shots per game, which was a positive sign. I can’t figure out his true on-ice SH%, but I’m going to guess it was below average like his personal SH% (4.9%), which explains a little of the low production. 

Reinhart got the benefit of good luck (or the benefit of not having bad luck) this year, though, shooting 12.7% and getting to play with better linemates. Abbotsford was a pretty lucky team this year, but most of that was due more to the SV% than the SH%, meaning Reinhart’s assist totals probably aren’t inflated too much – although Abbotsford did probably score more than they should have, so who knows.

  Power Play Points Secondary Assists Team Scoring
Max Reinhart 33% (21/62) 41% (17/42) 27% (63/237)

His secondary assist percentage was roughly average, but Reinhart made up for that with his above average EV/PP split: 66% of his points were at even strength despite Reinhart picking up 21 power play points. That’s really healthy, and he did most of it through volume: he generated more than 2.5 shots per game this season.

One of the things that has followed Reinhart around is the “hockey sense” tag. It’s not something you really notice on a game-to-game basis because it really only rears its head when a mistake is made. Reinhart doesn’t seem to make a lot of positional mistakes and is often able to win battles in the corner because he knows how the crow flies. To my eyes, he’s physically average, which includes his skating – but that’s okay. I project him as a third liner, and many third liners are below average in an area.

I expect that Reinhart’s offensive ceiling is about the same as a guy like Kenny Agostino’s. Both seem about the same kind of player to me, honestly – one plus skill, average in most other areas, but both might be able to generate shot attempts at an above-average rate, making them valuable.

Conclusion

Reinhart is probably one of those guys who will turn into a forward who can anchor a good possession-type third line. I don’t know what the long-term plan is for him positionally – most of the Heat games I watched he was at C, but I believe he mostly played wing with Corban Knight and the NHL club – which accounted for a bit of his time this year. I think he should be an average NHLer regardless of where he plays.

  • Lordmork

    I think the real story here is how a useful, potentially above-average third-liner is now 10th on this list, when he was 5th last year after a challenging season. What a difference a year has made in the team’s depth. Here’s hoping the Flames continue this trend.

  • SmellOfVictory

    What did Burke say about advanced stats not having the ability to predict? Good example here, I’ve always liked the guy, have stated so many times and I am by no means alone on this board in that feeling.

    As far as him and Agostino having 3rd line ceilings: Ok. Seriously, I am good with that. If the Flames 3ed line can be made up of high hockey IQ guys who are great defensively, dominate possession-wise against their peers and have hands that aren’t made of stone? Perfect!

    In 5 years time I wouldn’t bet against Reinhart being able to play 2C, at least in short spurts. You can get stronger and you can work on quickness and overall speed, but you can’t make a dumb player smart.

    That said, I don’t think another season in the AHL would be bad for him, though I’m thinking a mid-season call-up is what will probably happen.

    One thing I hope the scouting staff under the new regime never stop looking for in prospectes is that ability to think the game at a high level.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      Great Post.

      Max is never going to wow anyone with great speed or skill, but I like they way he quietly does his job. The guy is dependable and would make a great 3rd or 4th line centre long term.

      Feaster and Wisebrod did a very good job in providing a template of assets for the scouts to look for, and based on the drafting over the last 3 seasons, it seems to have paid dividends. More smart players please.

      • BitGeek

        Gotta give credit where credit is due. Max was a Darryl Sutter draft not Feaster/Weisbrod.

        I still agree Feater/Weisbrod did a nice job of drafting during their short tenure.

    • What did Burke say about advanced stats not having the ability to predict? Good example here, I’ve always liked the guy
      No prediction via advanced stats have been applied to him yet. Noting he was underwhelming offensively as an AHL rookie isn’t advanced analytics…it’s a statement of fact.

      That said, if we had better info from the AHL (which has terrible data), we may have been better handle on the player rather than just his counting numbers.

      • True, I suppose there was no stated prediction per se, but the implication was there.

        If Jankowski takes a quantum leap next year (and I’m not saying he will), it’ll be similar circumstances, no? Based off the current available data, his future looks bleak. If he breaks out then it flies in the face of that.

        I’m a proponent of stats, but one can always claim after the fact that there wasn’t enough data at the time. So, as for using it as an example of what Burke said, I think it holds up.

        • seve927

          I think you’re confusing ‘ability of advanced stats to predict’ with ‘ability of people who support use of advanced stats to predict things that have nothing to do with advanced stats’. So,no it doesn’t hold up at all.

          • mattyc

            I think the point is more that you shouldn’t be expecting any science to be 100% predictive. You just take the best information you have to make your best guess, but ultimately anyone who claims they can predict something 100% is lying to you. Doesn’t mean it’s not useful or better than the alternative, just that it’s imperfect.

          • Jeff Lebowski

            I think the greater point is that when dealing with human beings we SHOULD EXPECT less than 100% prediction.

            Regardless of the industry, sport, academic standing, prestige- whenever people are left to their own devices- EVERYTHING comes down to human dynamics. You can be the strongest, smartest, fastest but if you can’t master your emotions etc you’re stuck.

            Ego, drive, hormones have different influence on different people. To suggest these things are the same for everyone, therefore you can ignore them, is short sighted. This isn’t EA Sports where if a player has an 89 ranking he’s going to perform that way all the time, everytime.

            Especially the youth. They need to settle into themselves. A mature adult isn’t going to grow 7 inches in a year, most probably will have emotionally developed enough to prioritize adversities etc.

            We just see hockey players and equate them to widgets.

            I believe those that can ‘unlock’ or understand human dynamics ultimately have the most success (by any measure).

          • Jeff Lebowski

            If that was the point, I totally agree. But the point of my statement is that Reinhart did not look promising in his first year of pro and that the use or rather misuse of that sort of information could lead to poor decisions. This was the point Burke had made.

          • BitGeek

            I’m not sure where you’re going with this. Are you saying that stats should be avoided because they can be misused?

            I think your statement about misuse can apply to any kind of information whether it’s advance stats or even the opinion of a scout.

          • EugeneV

            No, that’s not what I’m saying.

            Burke stated that stats can’t predict. Look at Reinhart this season vs his writeup last year which was not very favorable, that “he’ll have to make huge strides as a sophomore to start looking like he’s worth a damn.” That’s a vey strong statement. This would seem to be an example of what Burke meant.

            In other words, how much stock should’ve been put into Reinhart’s write-up last year? Was there a point to it other than an academic look at the numbers? Because last year to this year sure didn’t follow some smooth progression chart.

          • EugeneV

            I like you Seve927. I like you just fine.

            Advanced stats aren’t really predictive, they are analysis of the past.

            Just like counting stats.

            The stats aficionado’s around here get offended if you don’t bow down to their Big Brains, but while I like the analysis side of the “advanced Stats” I think that they in no way account for intangibles.

            Intangibles of course are a HUGE part of the game.

            They talk about puck luck and zone starts etc…

            Well how much puck luck does a Pure Goal Scorer need?

            Who cares if a coach “shelters” a player with O-zone starts 60% of the time?

            Or what about a player who gets 75% or even 100% of his points on the power play? HAHAHA

            Personally, I would be happy to have a PURE SNIPER ala Bossy or Lemieux or Hull and have them ONLY step on the ice on the power play as long as we win and everyone on the team plays the role required for said win to occur.

            And I mean I would take Bossy or Lemieux on my power play TODAY, 2015 over the players on our team who ALWAYS seem to hit the goalie in the crest.

          • EugeneV

            except they are predictive… correlation of about 70% with future wins and corsi, as opposed to about 50% and 40% with goals and team points, iirc.

            ignoring information is dangerous.

          • PrairieStew

            I tend to agree with you Justin – but please expand on the 70% correlation. At what value of corsi differential do you make that assertion ? Any difference in total corsi or fenwick ? – adjusted to 5 v 5 close ?

            I used team corsi to influence my predictions for a playoff pool I was in. I was heavily conflicted on LA San Jose series at the start of the playoffs because the possession gap between the 2 was so small. St Louis Chicago was also razor thin.

            I ended up projecting Anaheim v Chicago in Western final mostly due to the fact that I thought the Sharks would stretch the Kings and the Ducks would have the edge. The Kings have however shown their superior possession rates to have trumped all. I correctly picked the Rangers to make the final 4, however Boston failed to hold serve against the Canadiens.

            Just thinking about how the Kings have got to the finals and who they have beaten. At this point would any of the 3 teams the Kings have eliminated NOT be the favourite over the Rangers ? Los Angeles may have defeated the 3 most impressive opponents ever to reach this final.

          • EugeneV

            http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7Tyh0o-MSRI/TVxsrUImuUI/AAAAAAAAASI/jf4U80F-_iU/s1600/splithalfreliabilitycfsgr.bmp, from http://objectivenhl.blogspot.ca/2011/02/shots-fenwick-and-corsi.html, which explains. essentially it’s the entire year corsi vs the team’s points% in the next season(s).

            now, of course, in the playoffs luck takes a much higher toll, which is why boston goes down to montreal in 6. if those two teams play 82 games against one another, boston probably wins the series because it becomes less luck and more skill – but I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

          • EugeneV

            Justin, I am not saying that they have no value. They obviously give an analytical view of what is occurring through the analysis of stats.

            I am just saying that eyes are more important than advanced stats for predicting the future.

            Imagine a team of blind men who never watched a single player, making the picks at the draft based purely on advanced stats or even counting stats.

            Or a team of illiterate men who watched every single player making the picks at the draft based purely on what they saw.

            Which do you honestly think would end up with the better players?

            The point I am making is that the use of advanced stats should be a powerful tool used in conjunction with what the scouts and coaches actually see.

          • EugeneV

            I think both teams would probably be awful, honestly. I agree with your point, and I hope I haven’t given the impression that I don’t find scouting reports and x/o analysis to be useful – like I said, ignoring information is dangerous.

  • SmellOfVictory

    The Flames certainly seem to have their future bottom 6 locked down between Reinhart, Arnold, Knight, Agostino, and then any combination of Bouma, Ferland, and Galiardi (assuming no face punchers). Just gotta get that top half together now.

  • Parallex

    Solid smart two-way players like Reinhart are always a big asset, even if their skill level in most areas is merely average NHL replacement level. Those intangible can make someone like Max very valuable for the Flames down the line.

    Any idea if Max can ably play right wing? With somewhat of a glut of similar centre’s in the system (Knight, Arnold, Backs, Monahan, potentially one of the Sams) and dearth on Iggy’s old side, converting one of them to the right side might be a good opportunity for them, and work towards helping an organizational weakness. I know the jump from centre to wing is relatively easy, but it would be good to maximize on each individual players comfort zone.

  • Byron Bader

    Pretty darn incredible that a guy that was in our top 5 the last few years, triples his points this year from last year and has dropped down to the 10 spot (that’s not a slight … I ranked him right at 10). The depth has improved by that much in a single year. The depth in this system compared to 2-3 years ago … it’s astonishing to look back and think about what dire straits this team was in just a short time ago.

      • BitGeek

        Wow that’s a new way of looking at Feaster’s time in Calgary. A very good point. Let’s hope this draft goes similarly to the Baertschi draft!! Go team Button. I just really hope we don’t take Ritchie…..

      • BitGeek

        Wow that’s a new way of looking at Feaster’s time in Calgary. A very good point. Let’s hope this draft goes similarly to the Baertschi draft!! Go team Button. I just really hope we don’t take Ritchie…..

  • amaninvan

    Max had a fantastic season in Abby, tripling his point totals from the previous season. Unfortunately, he really didn’t get a long look in Calgary this past year, playing in just 8 rather unexceptional games. I found his call ups rather disappointing, mostly because he played an average of around 10 minutes a night, and was used very sparingly on the PP/PK. I personally hopes he comes to camp and dominates, prompting the team to give him a much longer look next season, preferably alongside Granlund as the two seemed to have great chemistry on the farm this past season.