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David Reinbacher: we can believe in a higher offensive potential than we think

In selecting David Reinbacher fifth overall in the draft, the Canadiens didn’t make everyone in town happy. While some were dreaming of Matvei Michkov or another forward, the Tricolore opted for a defenseman with a seemingly easy pick.

Instead of trying the Michkov home run, they opted for the sure shot. And for a fan base that has been dreaming of an offensive superstar for years, that was disappointing.

That said, in Reinbacher, the CH still selected a top-quality prospect. We’re talking about a guy with a varied toolbox, especially defensively.

Earlier today, Arpon Basu published an excellent paper in which he came to an interesting conclusion: the Austrian defenseman has more offensive potential than we think.

Basu also discusses Reinbacher’s strengths, including his transition game, his ability to recover the puck when the opposition has it, and his ability to keep opposing players out of his zone. But he also spends a little time talking about what makes him such an interesting offensive prospect.

Last year in Switzerland, he amassed 22 points in 46 games, which is not bad for an 18-year-old (born in October) playing against adults. However, he wasn’t very aggressive offensively last season.

Maybe he’s just the player he is, but when you see him capable of skilful passing and even of playing on a power-play wave, it’s not absurd to wonder if there isn’t a little more potential than you might think.

Maybe not to the point of being a new Charlie McAvoy, but still.

In my eyes, Reinbacher will never be an offensive defenseman of the caliber of Cale Makar or Quinn Hughes. That’s not the player he is, and that’s fine. On the other hand, if he can be a solid defender on a top-4 team as well as an interesting player offensively, he’s already a much more complete player, and that raises his ceiling.

To the point of being a #1 defenseman? It’s far too early to say, but the basic elements are there. There’s still a lot of development to be done, though.

Beyond the points, it’s encouraging to see that there’s a scenario in which Reinbacher becomes an interesting asset offensively. Simply being able to feed the forwards in front of him well and keeping up with his potential future partner in Lane Hutson would already be a big plus for a guy whose defensive game seems to be a pretty safe bet.

I really recommend reading Arpon Basu’s piece (which I’m reposting HERE) to learn a little more about the young defenseman. It remains to be seen whether the future will prove him right in believing in a greater offensive potential than one might think for the Austrian defender.

In bursts

Despite criminal charges, Carson Brière signs pro contract.

– Great read on Anthony Richard.

– Love this.

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– Well deserved.

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