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Canadiens Prospect Reinbacher’s Expected North American Arrival



Montreal Canadiens prospect David Reinbacher (2)

Montreal Canadiens draft pick David Reinbacher has been at the centre of an ongoing discussion regarding his arrival in North America.

Given that EHC Kloten is having a hard time scoring goals, let alone securing wins, Reinbacher’s development has slowed to a certain extent. On top of adding a lot of mass to his frame, Reinbacher also suffered an early-season injury which limited his mobility.

This led to a difficult first half of the season for the Montreal Canadiens prospect.

The good news is that Reinbacher has found his rhythm in recent games, standing out as one of the few talented players on the Kloten roster. The bad news is that his mere presence alone has not led to wins, and consequently, Kloten is sitting in 13th place out of 14 teams in the National League (NL).

This means Kloten is likely to participate in at least one post-season series, delaying Reinbacher’s arrival in North America.

There are a few different scenarios we need to evaluate as we wait to see when he will make his debut with the Montreal Canadiens AHL affiliate, the Laval Rocket.

Scenario 1 – No playout

There’s a possibility Kloten will pass Rapperswil in the standings and will no longer have to worry about participating in the ‘playout’.

As it stands, Rapperswil is nine points ahead of Kloten, with both teams having just five games left to play in the season. The two teams face each other on February 29.

This is not a likely scenario, but for now, it remains a possibility since the NL uses a three-point win system. If this scenario takes place, Reinbacher would be available to join the Rocket on March 5.

Montreal Canadiens prospect David Reinbacehr switzerland standings

Scenario 2 – First Playout Series

If Kloten finishes among the bottom two teams in the league they will have to participate in the NL’s ‘playout’ versus Ajoie.

The playout is a seven-game series between the 13th and 14th-placed teams that will take place in mid-March.

The winner will secure their position in the NL for next season, whereas the loser will have to face the top club in the Swiss League to determine which team will play in the NL in 2024-25.

If Kloten wins the first playout series, the Montreal Canadiens prospect will be available to join the Rocket toward the end of March, depending on how long the series lasts.

Scenario 3 – Second Playout Series

If Kloten loses the series versus Ajoie, they will have to play another seven-game series against the Swiss League champions, with the exact opponent to be determined at a later date.

This would delay Reinbacher’s arrival by about two more weeks, meaning you could expect him in Laval toward the first or second week of April.

Swiss League Champions- Caveat

If Kloten wins the series versus the Swiss league champions, they would ensure their place in the NL for 2024-25, but there’s a very interesting caveat when discussing potential opponents for Reinbacher’s team.

Prior to writing this article, I confirmed the details of the playout process with Swiss hockey expert Thibaud Chatel. He provided a lot of important information, as well as clarification when it comes to the second playout series.

According to Chatel, only Visp and Olten can actually be promoted from the Swiss League this season. This is a significant development when it comes to Reinbacher’s availability.

“The Swiss League champion has to be Olten or Visp,” he said. “They’re the only teams that have been accepted as suitable candidates for promotion based on their finances, their arena, and other factors,”

In other words, if another team wins the Swiss league, there is no need for a playout, which would mean Reinbacher would be free to come to Laval immediately once the first playout series is over.

If a situation evolves without Olten or Visp emerging as champions, there’s even a possibility that Ajoie and Kloten would not have to play the first playout series. For this to happen, both Olten and Visp would have to be eliminated from the Swiss League playoffs before the first playout series begins in mid-March.

The Swiss League playoffs are currently in full swing, with eight teams involved.

For now, Visp (7th) has a three-game lead over Basel (2nd), whereas Olten (3rd) has a 2-1 series advantage over Thurgau.

The Laval Rocket’s season ends on April 20, which means regardless of how things turn out, Reinbacher will almost assuredly make his North American hockey debut this season, but his arrival will depend on how the final games of the NL and Swiss League play out.