The Florida Panthers have manufactured a strong start to the season following their memorable 2022-23 campaign in which they found their way into the Stanley Cup Final.
Although they fell to the Vegas Golden Knights in dominant fashion, a big responsibility of their storybook run is at the reins of one guy and he has kept it going into this current season.
Sam Reinhart is finishing off the third and final year of his contract with the Florida Panthers and it looks to be his most productive one yet.
The 28-year-old forward has notched a team-leading 29 points in 24 games, including a team-high 16 goals. He even sits in second place in the National Hockey League in goal scoring, only behind Vancouver’s Brock Boeser who sports a one-goal advantage with 17 on the year.
The Florida Panthers have a very good thing going with Sam Reinhart right now
Reinhart has slowly established himself as a fan favorite. By winning the 50-50 puck battles, tipping pucks in front of the net, and taking over as the main threat of the Florida power play unit, he has undoubtedly exceeded expectations.
It is hard to miss #13 standing in front of the net on the power play. While Florida sits in the bottom half of the league in man-advantage production, Reinhart has found the back of the net seven times throughout this young season.
Panthers’ standouts Aleksander Barkov and Matthew Tkachuk may be given some praise for this as they continue to force defenders to overcommit, leaving Reinhart the ability to show off his quick snapshot ability in front of the goaltender.
With Reinhart and Barkov, the duo on the Panthers’ top line must continue to string together some points as they seek another deep run in the playoffs.
Sam Reinhart was acquired by the Florida Panthers back in 2021, signing a three-year, 19.5 million dollar contract.
Florida’s General Manager Bill Zito was brought into the franchise in 2020 and was hunting for a goal scorer.
After the Cats’ had selected Spencer Knight with the 13th overall pick in the 2019 draft and then picked up World Junior Champion goalie Devon Levi in 2020, Zito had a decision to make.
With the crease already filled by Sergei Bobrovsky, the front office had chosen to deal Levi to Buffalo in exchange for Reinhart.
Bill Zito has been spectacular since taking over in South Florida and it can be seen just by looking at Reinhart’s numbers. Although the final two seasons in Buffalo were shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Reinhart recorded 90 combined points in 123 games.
When settling into the red sweater, Reinhart put up 82 points in 78 games, in his 2021 debut with Florida.
As the 2023-24 campaign continues, Reinhart’s value should continue to increase. The only issue is whether or not Florida be able to afford him.
Keep an eye out for Sam Reinhart and the Florida Panthers as they continue their quest back to the Stanley Cup.