Montreal Canadiens: David Reinbacher Showing Versatility On Kloten #1 Powerplay

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

Somehow a Montreal Canadiens top draft prospect is flying under the radar - which partially can be blamed on the struggles of his team, this has been the case for David Reinbacher.

The Austrian opted to return back to Switzerland to finish his post secondary commitments. Reinbacher made a bold decision, which the Canadiens didn't argue. But looking at how things have gone to this point, I will confidently assume that if he were in the American Hockey League with the Laval, he would have had more success. The tools are all there, and he has benefitted from the larger ice in Europe, which has forced him to use his mobility in all three zones.

EHC Kloten has been abysmal, and that is putting it lightly - they have fired their coach and struggled to sustain any sort of success. Reinbacher has battled a bit of injury trouble, but the adversity, if nothing else, should translate to some growth and maturing in the 19-year-old's game. He has been one of the most relied upon defensemen by Kloten's coaching staff.

Recently during NL league play, Kloten drew a man advantage, and while Reinbacher did get some significant ice time - he wasn't playing where you would think. Perhaps he never plays in the same position again, but Reinbacher played in the bumper position on the powerplay. Not long after he was back on the blueline, operating like a general, guiding the brigade as the quarterback.

What his deployment proved was how versatile that he is, and the trajectory for his growth, in my eyes took a bit of a leap. Reinbacher projects more as a shutdown defender, who is hard to play against. But he could certainly develop a strong offensive game, especially his shot, as he physically matures.

At 6-foot-3 and nearly 200-pounds, Reinbacher already has NHL size, and is actually bigger than the average defensemen in the NHL. Stitched right into his physical traits, is his fantastic mobility and long defensive stick, which is disruptive and intelligently deployed. Right shot defenders are highly coveted, and the really good one - are gems for their teams - Cale Makar, Adam Fox, Drew Doughty and Alex Pietrangelo are a few great examples.

I am in no way, shape or form comparing Reinbacher to those guys, but what I am stressing is that really good right-shot defenseman are essential to an NHL team's success. Reinbacher is yet to arrive, though I think he should come to North America for the start of the Habs' 2024 schedule and beyond. He is already adjusted to the European ice, and has shown shades of his brilliance, but he needs to learn how to play on the smaller ice in either Laval or Montreal.

I am not unaware of the draft options that were available to the Canadiens at the time of their fifth overall selection, but I think Reinbacher hasn't scratched the surface of what he will become. Columbus and New Jersey had no issue drafting David Jiricek and Simon Nemec - and Moritz Seider is looking pretty good in Detroit. All I'm saying is that Reinbacher is going to be a good one, and he doesn't need to carry the mail offensively, with guys like Lane Hutson, and Logan Mailloux on their way.

Reinbacher is going to be exactly what the Canadiens need him to be, and his versatility is going to serve him well on his quest to play in the top four on the Habs blueline.