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European Canadiens Prospect Report: David Reinbacher enjoys better results with old defence partner

Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

David Reinbacher

19y, EHC Kloten, NL, Switzerland

On Friday night, David Reinbacher had his best game of the season. Both the eye test and Thibaud Chatel’s tracking showed that Reinbacher was Kloten’s best defenceman in the game:

Credit: NLIceData

I can only speculate, but it seems that a familiar defensive partner, Steve Kellenberger (the same Reinbacher had last year), and a more counter-attacking style of play where players don’t get caught up ice looks to have brought out the confidence in Reinbacher once more. Kellenbereger is a bit more risk-aware than Nathan Beaulieu, which allows Reinbacher to focus on the things he does well, and not having to go into a “I need to do everything myself” mode. The stability of playing with his old mentor and defensive partner cannot be overstated.

Kloten is also playing more compact; the parts of the team work together, both offensively and defensively. It’s something that also helps Reinbacher in his progress and play, and led to two assists on the night, the first one of the defender’s stick and then the boards.

The second came in the dying seconds of the game as Reinbacher once more hit the net and after a mad scramble the puck ended up in the net to draw the game.

It was an odd game, as Kloten led 3-0 and somehow in the end found itself down 4-3 and fighting to get to overtime. Part of the comeback for Zug was a penalty call on Reinbacher — a call that wouldn’t have been given in North America — where Zug managed to score. In the end, Kloten won the game, but it was typical for a team that is struggling with confidence it almost looked like they expected to lose the game.

On Saturday, Kloten went to Ajoie, the team at the bottom of the standings but still a tough opponent especially after facing a top team like Zug. Reinbacher had another good game, recording an assist on the power play. Kloten was up 2-0, but this game also ended up in overtime, and Kloten won it. The result was four important points to close the gap to the SCRJ Lakers, but the team still resides in the relegation series for now.

Filip Eriksson

18y, Växjö Lakers, SHL / Nybro Vikings, HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden

I don’t think anyone has gotten more interview time in pre-game shows or during intermissions than Filip Eriksson has this week in HockeyAlsvenskan. Every game has featured his insights at least once. It is easy to understand why: with seven points in five games and at least a point in every game, Eriksson has turned heads in the whole of Swedish hockey. He didn’t want to break his point streak, hence it was Eriksson who broke a very entertaining 0-0 game in overtime on Friday night.

He followed it up with another assist on Sunday as Nybro lost away to Västerås:
This offensive production is something that wasn’t expected after his tenure in Växjö where he was used on a shutdown line, something that is quite normal for a Junior player who comes up through the ranks. Växjö also leads the SHL by a margin so it is tough to say he was used wrong. However, it shows that a loan to another professional league was the right thing for Eriksson’s development. He now faces bigger players, seasoned players, and he can still be loaned back to Växsjö’s SHL team, or the U20 team, in time for the playoffs. It is something that should benefit him in preparation for next season and his long-term development.

His coach in Nybro said that he “is one of the smartest youngsters I have ever coached, but also he has some real skills.”

I am still not convinced Eriksson is a “steal,” but I think it is fair to say in a re-draft he should have gone earlier than the sixth round.

Vinzenz Rohrer

19y, ZSC Lions, NL, Switzerland

After having been a bit short on Rohrer last week, he also deserves full marks for his weekend: three points in two games. While his goal in Saturday’s game was a forecheck and a puck steal that was impressive, I am even more impressed with the assist from Saturday:

The little push is hardly evident in the first clip, but in the second one you can see that he does it in high speed and in the middle of his deke, fooling everyone but his teammate, who gets the puck in full speed and scores with ease. It’s a technical move that shows both skill and hockey IQ.

I think Rohrer deserves a lot more credit for the season he is having in the National League. Many, including myself, thought Rohrer would move between the pro team and either the B team or the U20s. He has proven us all wrong and stayed with the team with the biggest budget in continental Europe, something that is no small feat. The fact that he is producing at a steady pace is even more impressive, Rohrer has 14 points (6G, 8A) in 39 games and is developing in a very nice way in one of the best leagues in Europe.

Adam Engström

20y, Rögle BK, SHL, Sweden

Engström didn’t play in Thursday’s game due to illness, Rögle had four players out for the same reason but seems to have limited the outbreak since all were back for Saturday’s game. The effects seems to have lingered and Engström only played seven minutes in a game that was broken up by an excess of penalties.

Oliver Kapanen

20y, KalPa, Liiga, Finland

Kapanen went scoreless for the first time in January as KalPa didn’t really produce any offence in the three games played since the last EPR.

Petteri Nurmi

21y, HPK, Liiga, Finland

HPK is stuck near the bottom of the table and nothing really stood out for them, nor Nurmi, last week.

Bogdan Konyushkov

20y, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, KHL, Russia

An assist for Konyushkov this week, but an assist from his own zone about six to seven seconds before the goal was scored. He still plays as a quarterback and receives a ton of minutes each game, this week averaging a bit north of 26 minutes per contest.

Yevgeni Volokhin

18y, Mamonty Yugry, MHL, Russia

A win for Volokhin who took back the lead in the goal-against rankings, and is fourth in save percentage for the MHL. It’s bee a very interesting season from the young goalie.

Alexander Gordin

22y, Ryazan-VDV, VHL, Russia

Two goals in two appearances from Gordin who seems to have found his scoring touch once more.

Dmitri Kostenko

21y, VHL, Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia

Kostenko bested Gordin, adding an assist to his two goals this week.

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