Canadiens send defenceman David Reinbacher to Laval Rocket

No. 5 overall pick at last year’s NHL Draft is coming off a disappointing season with Kloten HC in Swiss-A league.

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David Reinbacher is headed to Laval.

The Canadiens announced Monday that the defenceman they selected with the No. 5 overall pick at last year’s NHL Draft will report to the AHL’s Laval Rocket after finishing what was a disappointing season with Kloten HC in the Swiss-A league.

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Kloten HC finished the regular season with the second-worst record (17-29-6) in the 14-team Swiss-A league and went through three head coaches: Montreal native Gerry Fleming, Larry Mitchell and Stefan Mair. Reinbacher posted 1-10-11 totals in 35 regular-season games.

“David got injured early in the year, came back, had a little bit of a slow stretch coming back and I think it’s natural when you’re a high pick,” Canadiens GM Kent Hughes said about Reinbacher on The Sick Podcast in December. “You’re trying to figure out what you are, you all of a sudden put added expectations on yourself in trying to do more. It’s one of the things I’ve learned from an agent perspective that I find helpful in the role I play now is making sure players play to their identity. They don’t have to change who they are. They just have to be better at what they are. That is development.”

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Now, Reinbacher will continue his development with the Rocket, who have 12 games remaining in the regular season and with a 27-25-8 record are three points out of the fifth and final playoff spot in the North Division.

The Rocket will play back-to-back road games against the Belleville Senators on Friday and Saturday before visiting the Toronto Marlies on Sunday.

The Canadiens are loaded with young defencemen, which head coach Martin St. Louis said during training camp was the reason why the team decided to send Reinbacher back to Switzerland for a second season after he posted 3-19-22 totals in 46 games with Kloten HC in 2022-23.

“I think for him to be able to go play 20-something minutes (in Switzerland), play on the power play and stuff, I don’t think we necessarily could give him those reps here,” St. Louis said. “So we felt it was the best thing for him this year. I thought he was really good (during training camp). As advertised, for me, and I’m really happy.”

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