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David Reinbacher: 20th best NHL prospect, says Scott Wheeler

It’s been a few weeks since the CH selected David Reinbacher fifth overall in the draft. While many people (myself included) would have liked to see a forward selected, the fact remains that Reinbacher has the potential to become an excellent NHL defenseman.

Let’s just hope his knees don’t become too much of a problem.

Since the youngster’s selection, we’ve often heard the same tape used to describe him: we’re talking about a guy with a pretty high floor who has all the assets to excel in a top-4 defense.

It’s hard to say whether he really has the potential to be a #1 defenseman, but he’ll be able to play big minutes nonetheless.

This morning, Scott Wheeler published his ranking of the NHL’s top 50 prospects, and when we look at the list, we see that Reinbacher tops the list of CH prospects, ranked 20th.

In his analysis of the Tricolore’s most recent first-round pick, Wheeler talks about Reinbacher as a guy who’s generally good at everything. Without necessarily being elite at anything, he’s a well-rounded guy who can do it all on the ice.

Wheeler, too, has his doubts about whether he’ll actually be a #1 defenseman, but he sees him excelling on a top-4 with the potential to be even better.

But beyond Reinbacher, the CH still looks good in the standings. Lane Hutson (27th) isn’t far behind, and the 77 honorable mentions include no less than four Habs (Owen Beck, Sean Farrell, Filip Mesar and Joshua Roy).

Juraj Slafkovský isn’t eligible since he made the jump to the NHL, but I think he’d be close to Shane Wright (14th) if he’d been ranked.

As for Lane Hutson, Wheeler describes him as a guy who could become an elite offensive defenseman in the NHL, and who is likely to be a real first-wave power-play quarterback. He sees him as a rare specimen in the field hockey world and even goes so far as to defend his defensive game, which is a little underrated in his eyes.

Unsurprisingly, Connor Bedard tops the list, while Matvei Michkov follows in second place. And in addition to Michkov, Zach Benson (12th), Gabe Perreault (15th), Dalibor Dvorsky (16th), Oliver Moore (17th), Matthew Wood (18th) and Ryan Leonard (19th) are also prospects who are ahead of Reinbacher and were available in the fifth spot.

That said, it’s still a ranking: just because Wheeler puts these guys ahead of Reinbacher doesn’t necessarily mean the CH made the wrong choice, it must be remembered.

In short, even if the CH only has one prospect in the top-20 (and he’s literally ranked 20th), the fact remains that it has an interesting number of good prospects. Now it’s just a matter of developing them.

In a gust

– What do you think?

– Lukas Dostal’s contract details.

– Things could get moving in Toronto between now and the trade deadline.

– Another former FC Barcelona player heads to Miami.

– For those interested.

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