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Sam Reinhart will turn 19 next week, so he has plenty of hockey left in his future. The Buffalo Sabres currently have two wins this season and the second-worst record in the entire NHL. We know what's in their future.
So there was no reason for the no. 2 overall pick from last June’s draft to stick with the club during what will be a dismal and frustrating season. And on Friday the Sabres made it official and sent Reinhart back to the Kootenay Ice of the WHL.
Reinhart played nine of the Sabres’ 11 games this season, recording only one assist. After seeing double-digit ice time early on, Reinhart played less than 10 minutes a game in four of his last six games, which has included seeing time on the fourth line.
Buffalo won’t be challenging for a playoff spot this season, so why burn a year of Reinhart’s entry-level deal as the Sabres tank for Connor McDavid? Let him go back to junior and dominate for another year (36-69-105 last season), see what the draft and off-season bring for the franchise and evaluate options next training camp.
Sure, there's no better experience than being around NHL players and staff, but if he's going to spend the season watching a losing team while either sitting in the press box or wallowing on the fourth line playing John Scott-type minutes, what's he really learning other than how to lose?
Besides, what player has been hurt by spending an extra year in junior?
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