David Reinbacher Set To Make AHL Debut Against Belleville Senators

New Jersey Devils v Montreal Canadiens
New Jersey Devils v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Montreal Canadiens management is sure to have their sights set on the Laval Rocket matchup with the Belleville Senators on Friday night and with good reason.

The club's first-round selection in the 2023 NHL Draft is primed to make his North American debut in Belleville. The right-shot defensemen had a solid season in the Swiss NL, despite all of the bumps in the road. He will likely be transitioned slowly into the lineup behind Logan Mailloux and Justin Barron, but the young Austrian has tremendous promise.

Reinbacher is slated to pair alongside veteran Tobie Paquette-Bisson, a wise decision to help the rookie acclimate to the professional game on the smaller ice. Praised for his skating and high hockey IQ by opponents in the NL, Reinbacher's confidence shouldn't be in question. His mobility and strong transitional play will soon be a welcomed addition to the Rocket blueline.

I recently wrote about the Habs assigning Reinbacher to the Rocket, and the coaching staff surely liked what they saw. Merely four days later, the 19-year-old will get the nod. While it's unlikely that he plays big minutes, I do think that it's likely that he produces more offence than he showed in Switzerland.

Right in the thick of fighting for their playoff lives, adding a big, mobile defender who defends well and can exit the zone himself will be critical for the team in transition. Not many teams can add a player that fits that description at this point of the season. At 6 foot 3 and 200 pounds, while he isn't overly physical, he will certainly aid Barron and Mailloux wearing down the opposition in the corners and around the front of the net.

For a team that isn't overly big up front, having a bigger blueline is even more valuable and I suspect that Reinbacher is going to be a darling for his forwards. Many may not be keen on the selection, mostly because of who else was available at the time. But Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton had a vision when they drafted him and I expect that there will be glimpses of that on Friday night.

It will be easy for fans and pundits to overanalyze his performance, but one thing is certain, he is far from a finished product. The vision is more of the same as the one the club had for Juraj Slafkovsky. Looking ahead two to three years at what Reinbacher will be moulded into by Adam Nicholas (Canadiens director of player development) is where management's sights are set.