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An “excited” David Reinbacher joins the Rocket

By Justin Vézina

“I’m finally here and I’m so excited.” That’s how young defenseman David Reinbacher summed up his thoughts after his very first training session with the Laval Rocket.

Freshly arrived on Monday after a third professional season in Switzerland with EHC Kloten, the Montreal Canadiens’ first-round pick in the 2023 draft met his new teammates at Place Bell on Tuesday before taking part in a practice.

“I think he had a good training session today,” noted his head coach, Jean-François Houle. It was a tough practice and he did well. I think he’s in a good frame of mind and the guys all welcomed him. We’re happy to see him and happy to have him here.”

The 19-year-old Austrian arrives at a time when the Rocket is in the thick of the playoff race, with only 12 games remaining on their schedule. Well aware of this situation, Reinbacher said he was excited to take on the challenge.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to finish the season strong,” noted the right-hander. I’m really excited to be here. It couldn’t be better than it is right now. I’m back with all the guys I saw at training camp, we’re having a great time and we’re making a push for the playoffs.”

So, while his objectives between now and the end of the campaign are to make his professional debut in North America and qualify for the playoffs, he will also be learning and getting as much information as possible “from every player and coach” in the Laval fold.

As for adapting to life in Quebec, Reinbacher will have little time away from the arena and the bus in the coming days, as the team will soon begin a sequence of six games in nine days, but there are still a few holes in his schedule.

“We’ve already had players invite him to dinner at their place. We’ve got a good group here and the guys are going to take good care of him off the ice,” mentioned Houle.

The Rocket’s next home game is against the Belleville Senators on Friday, March 29.