Topic: upstairs playroom with brothers Max and Griffin
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- Sam Reinhart spent plenty of time growing up in Vancouver playing hockey in an upstairs playroom with brothers Max and Griffin. The sons of longtime NHL defenceman Paul Reinhart broke a few windows, but it was worth it as they grew up in the game. Max was a third-round pick of the Calgary Flames in 2010, but it took Sam seeing Griffin put on a New York Islanders jersey as the fourth overall pick in 2012 to start to visualize what his draft-day moment could be like. Thatll come June 27 in Philadelphia as Sam Reinhart is expected to be one of the top three picks. Once that sinks in and Reinhart goes about preparing for his first NHL training camp, he will draw from the experience he had in early May with Canadas world hockey championship team. The Kootenay Ice forward thinks hes ready for the pros because he joined Team Canada for its training camp and exhibition game against Switzerland in Zurich. "I got a little taste of it at the international level for a couple days in Switzerland," he said Friday at the NHLs annual scouting combine. "It was pretty amazing to see how I handled practice one compared to practice three and really picked up the pace and felt comfortable pretty quick out there." Reinhart had to think quick well before he ever stepped onto the ice. He got the call from Hockey Canada on Friday night and needed to decide whether to get on a plane to Europe Saturday afternoon. "It was a pretty quick turnaround to kind of drop everything and go over there," the 18-year-old centre said. "It was a tough decision at the time but really turned out to be a positive experience. Its really paying off right now." Reinhart didnt have much more to prove. He had represented Canada the under-18 world championships twice, winning gold in 2013, and then was on this past years world-junior team. Named WHL player of the year for putting up 105 points in 60 games with the Ice, Reinhart is third among North American skaters in NHL Central Scoutings final rankings. But it didnt hurt Reinhart to show what he could do surrounded by players who will soon be his peers. He already knew Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly, Flames centre Sean Monahan and Canucks defenceman Jason Garrison, but being on the ice with them in that environment was a different story. "He didnt look out of place," Team Canada coach Dave Tippett said in a phone interview Friday afternoon. "He carried himself like a pro player. He picked up the things we were trying to do in the drills very well. The biggest thing you could tell, and its probably a little bit because of his upbringing -- he wasnt intimidated by the situation at all and just jumped in there and played." Even though Reinhart was an extra forward for the exhibition game, Tippett liked how he made the most out of his eight or nine minutes of ice time. Had an injury occurred before the team left Zurich, there was some discussion about adding Reinhart to the team, which wouldve made him the youngest by two months over Nathan MacKinnon. Reinhart worked to show what he could do if that happened. "Youre not going in with the mind-set that youre coming home in a couple days," he said. "You know obviously the odds are you will. But you never know what happens at that point." Ultimately, Reinhart got sent home while the Canadian team went on to Minsk. But not before he made a positive impression on Tippett and his staff. "Hes a mature kid," Tippett said. "Obviously I think being from a family that has grown up around pro hockey, that helps the situation. You could tell that he wasnt in awe of the situation at all. He just got in there and got to work and fit in well with the group." Reinhart is part of a bigger group at this weeks combine outside Toronto as one of 117 of the top prospects going through interviews and then fitness testing Saturday. Along with Kingston centre Sam Bennett and Barrie defenceman Aaron Ekblad, though, Reinhart is part of the small faction of potential No. 1 selections, whether the Florida Panthers keep or trade the pick. The six-foot-one, 186-pound playmaker is known for his hockey sense and vision. Of course there are things he feels like he needs to get better at, including lower-body strength. "It just doesnt happen over a summer, Ive been focusing on it for a long time now and I feel confident with it," Reinhart said. Another question is his speed, but if Reinhart himself was at all worried, Zurich made him feel better. "I felt with the pace over there I kept up pretty well," he said. "I felt really confident with it, leading into the next day and it was amazing how much you improved." Jerseys NFL China . 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The Toronto Argonauts (11-7) look for an opportunity to repeat as CFL champions when they host the surging Hamilton Tiger-Cats (10-8) on Sunday.(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers, armed with a two-game winning streak, head west, starting Sunday night against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. The Pacers knocked off the Miami Heat on Wednesday, then kicked off 2015 with a three-point road victory over the Milwaukee Bucks Friday at the Bradley Center. C.J. Miles buried six 3-pointers for 22 points off the bench to lead the Pacers. Roy Hibbert added 18 points and Luis Scola scored 14 for Indiana, which was won five of its last seven. The Bucks led by as many as seven in this one and carried a 68-66 advantage into the fourth quarter, but Indiana took the lead for good on Donald Sloans 3 with 9 1/2 minutes remaining. We closed it out well enough, said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. Milwaukee was just 9-of-24 from the floor in the fourth quarter, including 1- for-7 on 3-pointers. Rodney Stuckey added 11 points, while Sloan had 10. George Hill missed the Bucks win with a groin injury and his primary backup, C.J. Watson, also sat with a sore left foot. The Pacers will visit the Utah Jazz and Golden State Warriors on this trip. The Lakers have struggled recently with four losses in their last five. Theyve dropped two straight at home, including Fridays three-point setback to the Memphis Grizzlies. Kobe Bryant scored his only points of the fourth quarter on a 3 that got thee Lakers within 106-105 with 24.dddddddddddd2 seconds left. He nearly sent the game to overtime with an off-balance 3 from near the left sideline with just 0.6 ticks remaining, but ball hit off the far side of the rim as the Grizzlies prevailed 109-106. Jeremy Lin led the Lakers with 20 points off the bench, but also drew the ire of Bryant late in the game. After knocking down his 3, Bryant shouted at Lin to foul Mike Conley, who could have dribbled off all but 0.2 seconds of the remaining clock. Bryant raced from the baseline to the point to foul Conley himself and kept running past midcourt, flailing his arms in frustration. Lakers coach Byron Scott said later he was worried about how many timeouts he had left and told Lin to wait until there were 10 seconds left to foul. I told Kobe that was my judgement, Scott said. Lin said he asked Scott if he should foul. He said no, Lin recounted. Then I asked like two or three more times and he said no. Then Kobe came out of nowhere. Bryant had 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Ed Davis also scored 20 points and Carlos Boozer and Nick Young both added 14 off the bench for the Lakers, who shot 53.1 percent from the field. The Pacers beat the Lakers by 19 in Indianapolis on Dec. 15 and have taken three straight in this series. Indiana has won four straight versus LA as the visitor. ' ' '