The Buffalo Sabres have done some line-shuffling this week to cope with the loss of star prospect Jack Eichel. Sam Reinhart, a natural centerman, was moved to right wing to start the season in an attempt to stack the Sabres’ offensive lines.
Reinhart initially played wing alongside Ryan O’Reilly and Kyle Okposo. Despite the star power around him, however, Reinhart managed only two assists in the Sabres’ first four games. Dan Bylsma’s move back to wing puts Reinhart in between Tyler Ennis and Zemgus Girgensons. Lesser talent perhaps, but Reinhart playing his natural position should help him regain his scoring touch. Last season Reinhart scored 23G and 19A in 79 games for the Sabres, and the team is looking for the young forward to produce as much or more this season.
Bylsma alluded that the move would be temporary, and that he would like to see Reinhart play alongside Jack Eichel or Ryan O’Reilly in the future. That would mean that Reinhart would move back to the wing. When Eichel returns the Sabres will be set for first and second line centers, and Bylsma does not want to leave Reinhart languishing on the third line. But for now Reinhart is anchoring the Sabres’ second line, and tomorrow’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers should serve as a test on whether the move sparks something inside the former 2nd overall pick.