Pretty easy to forget the Sabres have the last two No. 2 overall picks at development camp this week. With so much attention bestowed on Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart can pretty much go about his business under the radar during the gathering in First Niagara Center. Sure wasn't like that for him last summer.
So what did the Sabres brass do? They decided to have their top picks room together this week. Pretty sneaky of them. Reinhart said he's getting to know Eichel after never meeting him until two days ago. What kind of advice has he given him about dealing with all this attention?
"It doesn't stop and he knows that," Reinhart said. "I didn't know him before this week but watching him go through all that draft stuff, he handled it phenomenally. He's a mature guy and he knows exactly how to conduct himself on and off the ice."
Reinhart's skating looks stronger than last season. He said his fitness work while back in junior at Kootenay of the Western League paid major dividends.
"I'm excited to be here this week," Reinhart said. "I feel a lot better just from being on the ice one time than I did last year so I'm excited to get this week moving forward."
Reinhart was noticeably upbeat talking to reporters today. He said ending the year with three solid games in Rochester was a big boost heading into the summer and that he's fully committed to making the Buffalo roster come October. And if it means moving to wing, he'll do it.
"It's not a strange thing for a young guy to come into the league and have to play wing," he said. "I'm preparing for whatever is thrown at me and I'm excited for the challenge."
Reinhart and Eichel were in different practice sessions and will apparently be on opposite sides all week, including Friday night's scrimmage. So there should be some terrific head-to-head matchups to watch.
"Unfortunately, I'm not on his team this week," Reinhart said. "Hopefully that changes soon."