Canadiens' 5th Overall Pick Not Playing In AHL In 2023-24

The Montreal Canadiens drafted David Reinbacher at fifth overall in the 2023 NHL Draft. While some might not be pleased about the selection, there is lots of time for him to prove the naysayers wrong, potentially in the NHL this season.

According to a Swiss news outlet, Reinbacher will not play in the AHL next season. Instead, he will either make the Canadiens out of training camp or return to EHC Kloten in the National League to continue his development overseas. While the AHL doesn't normally allow 18 or 19 year old players to play in the league, there have been exceptions.

Reinbacher is Austrian and played for Austria in a few different places last year, but spent the season with Kloten where he scored three goals and 22 points in 47 games. It is generally very tough for an 18-year-old defenseman to make his NHL team the first season unless he is a number one overall pick, and even that isn't guaranteed. Since Reinbacher didn't play in North America, he doesn't have a junior team to go back to for one more year. Playing in the NL would be better for his development anyways as he would once again be playing against grown men instead of teenagers, getting him more ready to graduate to the NHL potentially the following season.

There will be a great battle in training camp as the Canadiens have a lot of young defensive talent that can fill the NHL roster.

Photo credit: © Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports