It was basically a formality, now it’s done. The Canadiens announced Wednesday morning that they have agreed to a three-year deal with defender David Reinbacher, the team’s first choice (fifth overall) in the last draft.
It is a three-year contract, a duration provided for in the collective agreement for 18-year-old players signing their first contract in the National League.
This contract will take effect in the fall if Reinbacher plays at least 10 games in Montreal. If he plays instead with the club of Kloten, in Switzerland, or in Laval, the agreement will be suspended and will begin when the young man makes the jump to the Canadian. The agreement can be “postponed” in such a way for the first two years.
According to CapFriendly, the agreement contains a so-called European assignment clause, for years 1 and 2. This clause is at the option of the player and allows him to return to Europe if he plays in the American League.
No decision has yet been made on whether he will play in Laval or in Europe next season, but Switzerland is currently the most likely scenario.
Spending the season in Europe, however, would not prevent him from attending rookie camp and training camp with the Canadiens in September. The young man obviously has to adapt to the North American-sized rink. His experiences essentially boil down to international tournaments here and there, including the last two editions of the Junior World Championship, both in Canada. The next World Juniors however will take place in Sweden, on international rinks.
The agreement provides Reinbacher with an annual salary of $950,000 ($855,000 plus a bonus of $95,000). However, the player can get up to $3.5 million in bonuses, linked to his performance. If he plays in the American League, he will get $82,500.
These performance-related bonuses are subject to very specific criteria, defined in the collective agreement and brilliantly explained on this page of the specialized site Puckpedia (in English).
For defenders, the criteria to achieve are:
These bonuses are considered category A. For each of these goals achieved in a season, the player receives $250,000, up to a maximum of $1 million per year.
In the third year of the contract, Reinbacher can also earn $500,000 in B bonuses. , average points per game or usage time. An individual trophy or a selection within an all-star team also allows you to obtain this bonus. The player receives the full bonus by achieving only one of these objectives.
Last year, Reinbacher had 22 points (3 goals, 19 assists) in 46 games at Kloten in the Swiss National League. The 6’2″, 195lb defenseman also represented Austria at the World Junior Championships in 2022 and 2023, as well as the Senior World Championships in 2023.
Reinbacher is the second player in the 2023 draft to sign with his new team, the other being third pick Adam Fantilli with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Kent Hughes continues in the same vein as last year by getting along quickly with his first-round picks. Last year, the first round took place on July 7, and the GM of the Canadian had agreed with Juraj Slafkovsky on July 13, and the next day with Filip Mesar.
It is common practice for top draft picks to get along quickly with their teams, with the exception of those playing in the NCAA, since they lose the right to play there as soon as they sign a professional contract. Last year, Simon Nemec (second row) and Shane Wright (fourth) signed their contracts on July 14 and 13 respectively. The other two top-5 picks, Logan Cooley and Cutter Gauthier, play in the college ranks.