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David Reinbacher: in Europe, he is promised (very) big responsibilities

Over the next week, we’re likely to hear a lot about David Reinbacher. The defenseman, drafted fifth overall by the Habs in the last amateur auction, will take to the ice with his teammates at rookie camp, and will then be seen at the CH training camp.

And, having just been drafted in the top-5, needless to say, he’ll be closely watched.

In fact, we agree that the most logical scenario is to see him cut from the camp and spend the next year in Europe, since Laval is not an option in his case.

Marc-Antoine Godin recalls the case of Juraj Slafkovský last year, when the Slovakian forced the CH’s hand at the end of the camp and who can give Reinbacher a chance to believe, but it remains the most unlikely avenue.

Reinbacher is likely to spend next season with EHC Kloten, which is not a big club in Switzerland. And in reality, that’s far from a bad thing.

As Éric Leblanc, who chatted to Larry Mitchell (EHC Kloten’s GM) about Reinbacher,notes, we can expect to see the defender take on a lot of responsibility if he spends next season in Europe.

At least, that’s what Mitchell expects: he wants to see Reinbacher spend more than 20 minutes on the ice per game and dominate, whether it’s on the power play, on the man advantage or shorthanded.

And that’s what we like to hear.

In concrete terms, Reinbacher may already be his club’s most talented defender. We saw him on his team’s first pairing in the two preparatory games he played before returning to Montreal, and clearly, we want to put him in a chair where he can excel in Europe this year.

I’d like to see Reinbacher force the CH’s hand and carve out a place for himself on the club’s brigade, but it’s already going to be hard enough to do that given the congestion on defense, it’s going to be even harder to find a role for him in Montreal where he can get as much playing time, and in all sorts of ways.

At best (and even then, I doubt it), I think the Austrian could play a handful of games at the start of the season, but then return to Europe. I’m much more inclined to see him come to North America at the end of the season, either to Montreal if the club has another miserable campaign, or to Laval if there’s room for him.

Because in reality, Mitchell is thinking big for the young defender. Negative comments about Reinbacher following his selection in the draft affected the GM, who continued to give him big love and tell him to keep his head up.

And clearly, unlike Matvei Michkov, Reinbacher would be in a good position to develop if he were to spend next season on the other side of the Atlantic. We’re thinking big for him in Switzerland and want to give him the resources to excel this year.

I find it hard to envisage a better scenario for his development than having him play in Switzerland this year, in any case.

In a gust

– Wow.

– He was a nice surprise for the Ducks.

– Can he repeat the feat this year?

– Soccer fans beware.


– It got people talking.

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