The Florida Panthers signed recently acquired, restricted free agent forward Samson Reinhart to a three-year contract worth $19.5 million on Wednesday.
Reinhart appeared in 54 games with the Buffalo Sabres during the 2020-21 campaign, and led the lowly team with 25 goals and 40 points. He potted ten power-play goals, tied for the fifth-most among NHL skaters.
The 25-year-old has hit the 20-goal plateau in five of his six full NHL seasons with Buffalo after being selected with the second overall pick in the 2014 Entry Draft.
Florida sent a 2022 first-round draft pick and prospect goalie Devon Levi of Northeastern University to the Sabres on July 24 to get the unhappy Reinhart, who has amassed 134 goals and 295 points in 454 career games, out of Buffalo.
General manager Bill Zito had this to say:
“Sam is a gifted and versatile talent that will play a key role for our team in the coming seasons. One of several players to commit to our organization with a multi-year contract this offseason, we are excited to see how these players come together and continue to build a foundation for success in South Florida.”
Prior to his professional career, Reinhart played four full seasons for the WHL’s Kootenay Ice, where he produced 120 goals and 319 points in 250 career games. He served as the club’s captain in his final two seasons, and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player and Most Sportsmanlike Player in 2013-14 after leading the Ice with 105 points in 60 games. Reinhart was named the WHL’s Rookie of the Year in 2011-12 and won the 2011 WHL championship with Kootenay after appearing in four regular season and seven playoff games with the team.
The addition of Reinhart gives the Panthers a stacked and versatile top-six. Reinhart can play either center or on the wing, with the most ideal situation being him skating on the right side of the Cats’ top line with Aleksander Barkov A new environment and talented line-mates could push to the talented forward to new offensive career-highs.