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David Reinbacher: in Boston, we see comparisons with Charlie McAvoy

When the Habs went to the podium with their fifth-round draft pick nearly a month ago, many fans were hoping to see Matvei Michkov come to town. Instead, young defenseman David Reinbacher was the club’s choice, adding to a fine crop of blue-line prospects.

He is, however, one of the few right-handed defensemen in this nursery.

The move drew a lot of criticism, so much so that even Kent Hughes was disappointed by the fans’ reaction.

Now, across the NHL, there are plenty of people who don’t quite understand such a negative reaction from Montreal fans. Today, for example, Boston-area Kevin Paul Dupont went so far as to say that the young Austrian is reminiscent of a certain star defenseman:

Reinbacher has the size and style of play that motivated the Bruins to draft Charlie McAvoy 14th overall in the 2016 draft. – Kevin Paul Dupont

At 25, Charlie McAvoy is well established as one of the best defensemen on the circuit, combining impressive offensive productivity (52 points in 67 games last year) with a more than solid defensive game. It’s safe to say that every club on the circuit would take a McAvoy in their line-up.

Of course, it’s far too early to say that Reinbacher will ever reach the level of the Bruins’ #73. In fact, that would be to place completely unreasonable expectations on a youngster who has yet to set foot in the NHL. He may have the potential to reach it one day, but that day is still a long way off.

And even if Dupont acknowledges that the profiles aren’t totally identical (McAvoy was a top prospect throughout his pre-draft year, while Reinbacher made a name for himself mid-season), the fact remains that the basic elements are indeed similar.

McAvoy has progressed enormously from the time he was drafted to the present day, and Reinbacher will have to hope to progress likewise, but the foundation is there for Reinbacher as it was for McAvoy.

Yet, in Dupont’s eyes, this doesn’t change the fact that Montreal fans clearly have little faith in the club’s management. I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the CH field hockey management’s popularity rating has indeed been lower since the selection.

That said, only time will tell if the CH’s decision on June 28 was the right one. If Reinbacher really does become a defenseman in the mold of McAvoy, we’ll have to give the Tricolore credit for opting for the best defenseman available.

It’s up to the Habs to put him in the best possible position to foster his development and, who knows, maybe turn him into a Charlie McAvoy 2.0, which is what we think he’s capable of becoming in Boston.

In bursts

– It’s up to them to prove their worth.

RHP is on the ice in Boisbriand today.

– Great read on Zach Hyman.

– The Twins pack in a veteran to accommodate the Quebec rookie, who’s been among the sport’s elite for a few weeks. My text on the subject.

– Nothing less.

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