If his current competitor and future teammate Ryan Chesley was a right-handed defenceman who compensated for his lack of height with impressive girth, Sam Rinzel is the polar opposite. The tall blue-liner may at this point lack some muscle mass but has other traits which if you put them together should excite fans and executives of many an NHL team.

Birthplace: Chanhassen, Minnesota
Date of birth: June 25, 2004
Shoots: Right
Position: Defence
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 181 lbs.
Team: Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)

A late riser, Rinzel first caught the eyes of the scouting community after dominating on the high school level with Chaska. He then transitioned into a leading role with the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks, while committing to play his college hockey for the Golden Gophers. While this means that he will get to return back home from his current rumspringa in Iowa, he still has to wait one more season before potentially lighting it up in the college dorms. Just like a few previous Montreal Canadiens draft picks from the United States high school system, Rinzel isn’t college eligible until a year post-draft.

When he finally arrives at the University of Minnesota, he will in all probability cross paths with the aforementioned Chesley. However, that will not be his first time sharing locker rooms with a US National Team Development Program graduate and fellow first-round hopeful in this year’s class. In 2019-20, powerful winger and overall snuggle bug Jimmy Snuggerud was lighting it up for Chaska High before getting snatched up by the USNTDP.

There is a lot to like about the tools at Rinzel’s disposal. While Chesley is considered to be a solid defender who is tremendous at shutting down opposing attacks, Rinzel’s game is built more on prowess with the puck. Apart from his straight-line skating, he is both a comfortable puck mover and a technically gifted shooter.