There was no question about whether Montreal Canadiens top pick David Reinbacher would grow, and start preparing to play in the NHL sooner than later. But he did take it upon himself to hit the weights hard and given his comments on Thursday morning, it has benefitted the young Austrian rearguard.
Reinbacher stated that he was tipping the scales at 209 lbs, which is a significant jump from his draft day weight of roughly 194 lbs, as per Elite Prospects.com.
At 6’3″ tall, Reinbacher is already an impressive presence at just 18 years old, and he stated that he did not feel as though the added weight has slowed him down, but made him more of a threat in the corners and in the front of the net while making his skating stronger.
At his height, if he were to play at 194 lbs, it wouldn’t be considered small, by any means, but the added weight all but ensures that he wishes to play at that weight. Whether he makes the Canadiens or plays in the NL with HC Kloten, Reinbacher will have a huge chance to leverage the strength gained during the offseason into a big development year.
The benefits from the added weight could translate to a heavier shot, which should only give confidence to him to grow his offensive game even more. In the defensive zone, with added strength, he should be able to lay the body with ease and improve his ability to disrupt chances for the opposition before they gain momentum.
His skating and positioning are two attributes that earned him the top defenseman ranking for the 2023 Draft, so if the added strength makes him a stronger skater, he will only become an even better all-around defender.
I am of the belief that if a player forces their way onto the roster, and leaves no shred of doubt that they are ready, then you let them play. That could be the exact case for Reinbacher, but I personally believe another year in the NL playing big minutes will be best for his development. With the Canadiens, he would likely play sheltered minutes, and be brought along slowly, but in Switzerland, he could play on the top pair, and on both the penalty kill and power play.
Certainly playing on North American ice will be a transition, so the benefit of adapting to the smaller ice can’t be stressed enough. That in large part is why I think, if NHL training camp goes well for him, then maybe he will play nine games with the Canadiens, then head back to Switzerland. Personally, I think if he isn’t playing in the NHL the next best option would be down in the American Hockey League with the Laval Rocket.
There is no rush for Reinbacher to play on the big club, and the patient approach could be just what the doctor ordered for his ascension to becoming a full-time NHL player. He stated during a draft interview that he planned to go back home to finish his educational commitments, and his job, while continuing to play for Kloten.
But there is certainly a spot for him in North America, and from the outside looking in, it seems as though he holds the answer to where he will play, and the added strength should only show more growth in Reinbacher’s already impressive game.
Want your voice heard? Join the A Winning Habit team!