The Ottawa Senators have signed another prospect, inking Cole Reinhardt to a three-year entry-level contract. The deal will begin in the 2021-22 season, but Reinhardt is already playing with the Belleville Senators on an amateur tryout. Senators GM Pierre Dorion released a statement on the signing:
We’ve been exceedingly happy with Cole’s play this season. For someone who was just recently drafted, he’s already showcased a great combination of strength and speed in addition to excellent hockey sense, which is likely his best attribute.
Reinhardt, 21, was passed over entirely the first two times he was eligible for selection in the NHL Entry Draft, but managed to land himself a sixth-round selection last October. The Senators used the 181st overall pick on the Brandon Wheat Kings forward, who had shown steady improvement offensively and recorded 31 goals and 55 points last season. Impressively, Reinhardt hasn’t looked out of place in the AHL, scoring seven points in his first 21 games with Belleville.
That performance has earned an NHL deal, though obviously, that doesn’t guarantee an opportunity will come at the highest level. Reinhardt will have to continue to work and develop his game, relying on the hockey sense that Dorion points out to create offensive chances for himself and his linemates. If the Senators are able to coax an NHL player out of their last selection in the 2020 draft, imagine how impressive the class–which had three first-round picks including Tim Stutzle and Jake Sanderson in the top-5–will be.