Brian Liesse

Reinhardt and Wheat Kings ‘Play for Ritch’

Cole Reinhardt was drafted in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft in the ninth round, 198th overall by the Brandon Wheat Kings.

He joined the team in the 2016-17 season as a rookie and he played 61 regular season games where he would put up seven points (3G). He would also suit up in two playoff games.

Reinhardt’s junior career has taken off ever since. He recorded 34 points in the next season with his 19 goals and he also recorded his first playoff points that season. It was only one goal and one playoff assist, but clearly, it continued to build his confidence and he came back even better the next season.

(Photo credit – Reinhardt has been solid with Brandon this season.

He had 45 points last year off a career-high 22 goals and that leads us to this season where Reinhardt is well on his way to another career season.

Reinhardt already has 13 goals this season in just 26 games and he’s added seven assists. As a 19-year-old, the veteran is providing head coach, Dave Lowry with a solid offensive source.

“Yeah, I’m not mad with my production but there’s always more that I can do to help this team win games,” said Reinhardt. “It’s all about being consistent every single night and leading by example. I’m a veteran so I have to be a leader.”

A leader is exactly what Cole is. Just prior to the season, Reinhardt was named one of the team’s assistant captains. As a four-year veteran of the team, this news didn’t come as a surprise to most.

“It’s a big honour. I was really happy to be named an assistant captain,” he added. “It’s pretty special, especially being one with an organization like Brandon, it’s great.”

Reinhardt and the Wheat Kings have enjoyed a few days off of game action. It’s allowed them to hit the gym and ice for some practice time.  Heading into this weekend’s action, Brandon is 11-14-1. The 23 points have them in the second wildcard spot, six points behind the Calgary Hitmen for the top spot in the wildcard race. However, Brandon is just three points behind Saskatoon for third in the East Division.

“Things are going pretty well I think. We’ve had some inconsistency problems this year, but we’ll get back on track and we’ll move forward,” added Reinhardt on the season. “We know what we need to fix and work on to have success in this league on a consistent basis.”

(Photo credit – Reinhardt and the Wheat Kings will be in tough this weekend against Winnipeg.

Brandon’s next in-game action on Friday when they begin a weekend home-and-home against their provincial rival Winnipeg ICE. Friday’s game is in Brandon and the two teams square off again just 24 hours later, but this time they’ll play at the Wayne Fleming Arena.

Winnipeg is 13-10-1 this season and they’re in second place in the East Division. Brandon is 2-1 against Winnipeg this season. In their most recent meeting, the Wheat Kings pummeled Winnipeg, 7-2. They won another game, 4-2 and fell in the third 3-2.

“We’re trying to hunt down the teams above us in the league and we know we can beat anyone in this league, we’ve done it before,” continued Reinhardt.

Both of those games will be played without Nolan Ritchie. In fact, Ritchie will be sidelined long term. The 17-year-old from Brandon suffered a broken leg last Friday when the Wheat Kings lost to the Hitmen in overtime. It was a freak accident where Ritchie lost his edge and went awkwardly into the boards.

He has since undergone successful surgery and he’s expected to make a full recovery.

“That was super tragic. He was an important part of our team,” continued Reinhardt. “We’re definitely going to miss him.”

“We’re playing for Ritch moving forward,” he concluded.




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