April 02 2014 04:59PM
For several months now, a conversation involving Sam Reinhart often ends up with the young man being compared to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Is that accurate?
Sam Reinhart's scouting report does in fact include a lot of things we read about the Nuge. Cerebral, creative, sublime passer. One area that Reinhart gets nicked is skating, although RNH also got that criticism from some early on.
If they are similar players, they should have similar numbers, right?
They're actually a really nice match by the boxcars -- this could be two seasons by the same player. They're a match.
SCORING BY DISCIPLINE: EVENS
HUGE difference at even strength for each player. We know from the earlier look at Reinhart, Bennett and Draisaitl there's not that big a gap between those three players, so the Nuge number appears to be the curio. In the NHL so far, Nuge has scored 59% of his NHL points at evens (Taylor Hall 71% by comparison), but in RNH's final junior season it represented only 44%.
Reinhart scored 60% of his points this season at even strength.
SCORING BY DISCIPLINE: POWER PLAY
56% of the Nuge's points in his draft year came on the power play, compared to Reinhart's 38%. That's a significant difference. Nuge's Red Deer team scored 80PP goals, 7 shorthanded goals and 181 at even strength. Reinhart's team scored 62PP goals, 5 shorthanded goals and 168 at even strength.
RNH was part of 74% of the Rebels PP scoring, 64.5%, so much of the difference appears to have come in team success. All of this is interesting, but without TOI totals I'm not sure how much we can say with authority. It does seem clear based on the splits that the Nuge is a more effective power-play center and Reinhart scored more at even strength. It COULD imply that Reinhart is in fact a better offensive player. I'm not certain we can state that as a fact.
They're pretty much the same, their WHL pages say they were both 6.0, and Nuge's 173 pounds trails Reinhart by 10 pounds. I'm not sure if these are absolutely accurate but it's worth noting.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Reading the situation incorrectly can make a man look like an idiot. We don't know the TOI for either player—at even strength or on the power play—and the differences in their scoring totals may not reflect actual ability. I do recall the Rebels rolling four lines at evens during Nuge's final season in Red Deer. That could explain what we're looking at here.
Having said that, it's a very curious item. It makes sense that you'd like an even-strength scorer over a power-play specialist, and that would favor Reinhart in this case.
Sam Reinhart is an interesting prospect.