By Brandon J.Koch
Sam Reinhart signed a bridge deal yesterday to end his holdout and is now at Sabres training camp.
The 2-year, $7.3 million dollar contract shows that GM Jason Botterill still needs to see more from Reinhart, after playing some of his best hockey the last half of the season. He finished the final 38 games scoring 18 goals and 19 assists, ending up with a career high in goals with 25.
But Reinhart can be even better for this hockey team. Here’s how:
Playing with Jack
It’s no secret that Sam plays better with Jack Eichel. Last season, Reinhart played mostly with Ryan O’Reilly, Benoit Pouliot and Scott Wilson. All three aren’t that well known to be puck possession kings and not well in the o-zone starts department. Reinhart can create for teammates and can take advantage of playing with players like Eichel or Skinner.
Shooting more near the net
Reinhart already shoots around the net more than any other area on the ice, but there needs to be more. He doesn’t have a great shot and works very smoothly around the net, he gets in the dirty areas.
These are some heat charts from IcyData.hockey that deals with shooting and goal scoring.
Reinhart’s shooting area percentages:
You think 55% around the net is high? If it can be higher for Reinhart, you will see an increase in his scoring chances and possibly scoring.
Goal scoring is all around the net. There needs to be even more red on this chart during the season. He shouldn’t be shooting near the top of the zone 12% of the time.
Here is Reinhart’s player useage chart, something else that needs to change.
Chart is from https://leftwinglock.com