BUFFALO – Top prospect Sam Reinhart, a healthy scratch last game, will play on the Sabres’ upcoming three-game California trip, coach Ted Nolan said this morning.
Nolan wouldn’t say if the center will dress Wednesday in Anaheim.
He believes sitting the 18-year-old for Saturday’s 4-0 loss to Boston helped him.
“Today is another good day,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “I thought maybe having that day off he had a little bit more jump in practice. He was a little bit more attentive. He seemed a little bit more relaxed, a little bit of weight got taken off his shoulders.
“But the one thing that’s really impressive, he’s a student of the game. He asks us questions. He wants to discuss certain things. When you have that attitude, you’re going to get better.”
Reinhart, the No. 2 pick in June, can play nine games before his contract kicks in. He’s pointless in five games.
Meanwhile, the 1-5 Sabres, fresh off two weekend shutout losses, enjoyed a strong practice this morning.
“All the practices we’ve had so far, this was probably the most attentive that we’ve been,” Nolan said. “I don’t know if it’s (going) on the road, being together. But we’re going to work this thing through and we’re going to get through it. We just got to be patient. We can’t get too many panic buttons. It’s only six games in.”
In other news, Nolan said winger Patrick Kaleta, who’s recovering from a scary facial injury, will travel to California. Kaleta likely won’t play for another couple of weeks, Nolan said.