Tobias Rieder is a RW from Landshut, Germany. He plays in Kitchener, which must feel like home (100 years ago, Kitchener Ontario was called “Berlin”) and Ranger fans are certainly happy to have him. Rieder is the 5th member of the 2011 draft group to make the list, following RNH (#1), Oscar Klefbom (#3), Martin Gernat (#7) and David Musil (#10).
Redline: Undersized, but exceptionally smart playmaking winger with excellent offensive instincts and creativity. Has decent speed, but lacks the explosive first step burst and acceleration you’d like to see in a player his size. Super soft hands and slick with the puck in tight; can create separation with sharp cuts/turns. Sees the ice very well and can saucer touch passes through traffic off either side of the blade. Makes imaginative set-ups, often surpassing his mates with unexpected plays. Average shot, but has good finishing ability from the circles in with a quick release he hides well. Anticipates developing plays, stepping in to intercept passes and start quick counterattacks in transition. Desperately needs to pack on muscle – lost weight during the season and was out of gas from January on. Not afraid to go into the corners and will take hits, but can’t battle effectively.
Kirk Luedeke: German winger Tobias Rieder is the second of Kitchener’s sublime import duo, and may well be the best player to ever come out of that country when all is said and done. The speedy and ultra-skilled forward showed no transition struggles and has been a crucial element in keeping Kitchener’s high-octane offense going, especially with the loss of 50-goal man Jeff Skinner to the Carolina Hurricanes. We’re not saying Rieder is the next Skinner (he’s got similar size and can really fly; doesn’t have quite the sublime hands/hockey sense though), but he’s one heck of a scoring talent, and hockey is in his blood. This is a kid who is absolutely driven to be in the NHL one day, and based on early returns, he’s going to get there.
The Scouting Report: There was high praise for Rieder at the start of the year as the German born center/winger came over to Kitchener with fairly high expectations. After starting out the year at a pretty good pace, Rieder slowed down as the year progressed. He’s a little undersized but he definitely competes hard for his size and wears his heart on his sleeve on the ice. Didn’t have a great showing during the World Juniors but by the 3rd or 4th round, he’ll be a decent prospect to see if he can continue to develop his offensive game over the next couple of seasons.
ISS: The smaller German sniper struggled with a shoulder injury during the World-U18 and was held to 3 games played, but managed to tally 3 goals. Rieder is a strong offensive player, with two-way potential. He has a very good well rounded skill set but excels as the shooter in the offensive end. Voted Rangers Rookie of the Year, finished 9th in scoring among rookies in the OHL. Rieder production slipped after he slipped down the depth chart when D’Amigo arrived.
- Age 17 68, 31-33-64 .941ppg
- Age 18 68, 36-46-82 1.206ppg
- Age 17 65, 23-26-49 .754ppg
- Age 18 27, 21-14-35 1.296ppg
Reddox was drafted #112 in 2004 and had a 100 game NHL career. Is that what we can expect from Rieder? I think he’s a solid comparable.
- Rieder is currently 4th in the entire OHL in goals scored. Reddox tied for 9th in league scoring at the same age.
- Rieder has potted 5 PP goals so far (Reddox had 13 in a full season, so that’s in the range) but also has 4 SH goals–tied for third in the OHL. Reddox had two SH goals, same season.
- At even strength, Rieder is 27, 12-6-18 .667 and Reddox was 68, 21-21-42 .618.
So, you’re probably asking why I have him at 13th in the system if he’s the new Liam Reddox. There are a few reasons. Rieder’s scouting report suggests that he is skilled, has a plus shot and very good footspeed. He also has an advantage over Reddox in that the Oiler forward came through a system that was rife with small forwards.
And I think you can make a case for Reddox having a longer NHL career if Craig MacTavish had stayed as coach. Pat Quinn’s arrival meant a season in the minors and by the time Tom Renney took over as coach the Oilers were in full rebuild mode and Reddox was miles from the front.
We’re at a point in the top 20 where all of the prospects have some issues. The forwards still to come have size or speed issues, the defensemen to come have footspeed or maturity concerns and the goalie still to come is a Chabot wild card.
From that group, I believe Rieder has the best chance to win the day.