Seven Questions For The Buffalo Sabres Going Forward

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Oct 14, 2014; Raleigh, NC, USA; Buffalo Sabres forward Sam Reinhart (23) before the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Buffalo Sabres defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

6. Can Sam Reinhart Step Up?

The pressure’s going to be on Sam Reinhart next season.

Even though he only has nine games of NHL experience at this point, Reinhart is going to be expected to step up and take a bigger role with the Sabres in what should be his first full NHL season.

Particularly coupled with whatever high draft pick the Sabres get, and young veterans like Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno, it’s going to be expected that the 19-year-old produce high numbers for the Sabres.

You know — he’s just the highest-drafted Sabres prospect since 1987, when the team picked Pierre Turgeon first overall. Of course, that’ll change once this year’s draft comes along and the Sabres likely pick either first or second, but still. Any time a high draft pick enters the NHL, all eyes are on him to hit the ice running (skating?) and produce right away.

The question is, what will he do, particularly coupled with another big name like Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel on the roster as well? Reinhart had one assist in nine games at the beginning of this season with the Sabres, before being sent back to the WHL to continue his development there. What could he be capable of at the NHL level, provided he’s given the ice time, linemates and opportunity he deserves?

Next: The McEichel Factor