The 2014 NHL Draft is underway, and the Buffalo Sabres have spoken. Welcome to the organization, Sam Reinhart.
With the second overall selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the Buffalo Sabres picked up Reinhart from the WHL’s Kootenay Ice. The 18-year-old Vancouver native had 105 points last season with Kootenay, notching 36 goals and 69 assists in 60 games during the regular season. He also had 23 points in 13 playoff games this year for the Ice.
Reinhart was ranked 3rd overall by NHL Central Scouting on their final list.
The Sabres pick came shortly after the Florida Panthers made Aaron Ekblad the top pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray wasted no time in announcing the selection of Reinhart, who becomes the highest-ranked member of his family to be selected by an NHL team. His father was previously drafted 12th overall.
Sam Reinhart joins the likes of Aleksander Barkov, Ryan Murray and Gabriel Landeskog in the crop of recent second-overall selections over the past few years. That’s not a bad group of guys, considering two of them joined their NHL club the season immediately following their draft. All three are now in the NHL with Florida, Columbus and Colorado, respectively, and Landeskog’s even gotten the honor of being named team captain at a young age.
This is the highest NHL draft selection the Buffalo Sabres have made in recent years. Since the team’s formation in 1970, the Sabres have participated in 43 NHL Drafts, including this year’s, as well as six supplemental drafts in the team’s history.
The Sabres have selected first-overall twice in the team’s history, picking up Gilbert Perreault in 1970 and Pierre Turgeon in 1987. They chose second in the 1986 and 1987 supplemental drafts, picking up Jeff Capello — who never played an NHL game with Buffalo — and Dave Snuggerud.
Before tonight’s pick, the highest the Sabres had chosen in recent years was the 2003 5th-overall selection of Thomas Vanek. Buffalo also picked up Rasmus Ristolainen with the eighth-overall pick in 2013.