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Canadiens Pick Progressing: David Reinbacher Prospect Update

David Reinbacher is one of the Montreal Canadiens’ top prospects. He was an off-the-board draft pick, but how is his development going?

The 2023 NHL entry draft had some of the best under-18 players we’ve seen in a few years. The first round was so deep in talent that it could be compared to the renowned 2015 draft. Holding the 5th overall pick in 2023, the Montreal Canadiens were put in a tough position. Looking past some intriguing forward options, the team made a selection in David Reinbacher that was questioned at the time. However, his development shows the Canadiens might have gotten it right.

Most of the top 15 players at the top of that 2023 draft were forwards, and some of whom came with indications of concern. Forward Matvei Michkov, the best Russian prospect since Alex Ovechkin, is and was one of them. After having success in the KHL since the age of 17, Michkov earned himself a contract that runs through 2026. It’s no secret that Russia is in a complex political landscape, which can undermine a player’s value. Many Habs fans were hoping for a franchise-reviving player like Michkov, but Kent Hughes had other plans.

Canadiens Went Off The Board With the Reinbacher Pick

Montreal ended up choosing right-handed defenseman David Reinbacher with their pick. He had been compared to Detroit’s Moritz Seider because of his size and two-way game. He also played in his men’s league play as a teenager. Reinbacher spent his entire draft year with HC Kloten in the Swiss National League and played in the World Junior Championship, putting his skills on display. He was the best player on that team by far.

David Reinbacher Canadiens

The Canadiens selected the first defenseman of the draft. Many Habs fans were disappointed they didn’t end up with one of the many skilled forwards available at the 5th position, but opinions changed when training camp began. Reinbacher developed great chemistry and friendship with fellow young defenseman Lane Hutson. Canadiens supporters got to see the Austrian prospect showcase his likable and mature personality as well as his high hockey IQ. Reinbacher also appeared great in the pre-season games. The first-rounder looked like a reliable defender, making smart plays and demonstrating good skating ability.

Reinbacher’s Second Season with Kloten

In his draft-plus one year, Reinbacher returned to Switzerland, to play with Kloten for another season. Unfortunately, he got hurt early on. Even after returning from injury, the team struggled mightily, so much that they finished second to last, facing relegation. Reinbacher was their most-used defenseman and had the best expected goals for percentage (xGF%). Kloten was shut out five of their last nine games, which is why he has almost no points to show for.

The conclusion of EHC Kloten’s 2023-24 season marks the end of Reinbacher’s loan spell with the team. It is expected that Reinbacher will come to Quebec and possibly play with the Canadiens or their AHL affiliate, the Laval Rocket. To play on North American ice with upcoming prospects like himself is the best option for him. The 19-year-old defenseman, who inked a three-year entry-level deal with the Canadiens on July 5, 2023, is about to show Canadiens fans what he’s got.

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