Fantasy Hockey Mailbag: Sam Reinhart, trade offer, giving up on a prospect, fantasy playoff targets, plus more…
With zero games on the actual NHL schedule, I turned it over to you to ask me any fantasy hockey questions. These are some great questions by the way, so I thank everyone for their submissions and giving me something to write about tonight.
For what it’s worth, I watched Sam Reinhart in a game this week and he didn’t look half bad. So I’ll start out by saying that he’ll fit in somewhere between his brother Griffin Reinhart and his teammate Jack Eichel in terms of fantasy value. Okay, that doesn’t really narrow it down, so let’s find out where in that range he might fit in.
For what it’s worth, Reinhart has heated up recently, scoring seven points (3g-4a) over his last five games. The Sabres aren’t many people’s idea of an up-and-coming team, but they have won three games in a row in western Canada, outscoring their opponents 13-1. So things are looking up in wintry Buffalo.
Reinhart is in his third full season in the league, so it’s easy to forget that he’s only 22. So if you believe in the magical fourth season theory, better things will start to happen for him next season. But even with the recent hot streak, his points per game is down from 0.59 last season to 0.39 this season. This is despite the fact that he has spent over 50 percent of his even-strength icetime with Eichel as his center.
But we shouldn’t assume that if a player doesn’t break out by their fourth season, they never will. Many players don’t peak until beyond Season 5. Josh Bailey, as we know, is having a career year. Did you know that this is already his tenth NHL season? In Bailey’s fourth season, he recorded a grand total of 32 points – hardly anyone’s idea of a must-own keeper. Rick has some more examples of players over 25 on the rise in a recent Cage Match.
So it’s far too early to write off Reinhart. He won’t be Eichel in terms of production, but a 60-70 point career high is still not out of the question.
If Reinhart is potentially a 70-point player, shouldn’t Nico Hischier be as well? It’s easier to say that he will, given t