Tor Reinholdt knows offensive lacrosse. So does Curt Malawsky but it was Malawsky, as coach of the Coquitlam Adanacs, who recognized potential for Reinholdt on other areas of the floor. So Malawsky made the move, putting Reinholdt in position for transition. It worked out quite well for both, and the Adanacs. And not long from now, both Reinholdt and Malawsky are hoping the transition blossoms into a productive National Lacrosse League career for the 6-foot-2, 200-pound right-hander out of Port Moody, B.C. It’s why the Calgary Roughnecks, the team Malawsky now coaches, made Reinholdt their first pick in the 2013 entry draft, which was the No. 6 pick overall. “I was super nervous,” Reinholdt said of draft day. “My stomach was in knots. You never know where you’re going to go. It’s very nerve-wracking.”
By the time Reinholdt’s name was called, though, a lot of questions were answered. First and foremost, he was going to get his shot at the NLL, a dream come true. Second, he was drafted by a team close to home. And third, he’d be walking into a locker room with a lot of familiar faces. That comfort zone can help him focus on his task of trying to make the team with guys whose game he knows.
In Calgary, he’s got former Coquitlam teammates in Marty Dinsdale and Travis Cornwall. And, of course, playing for Malawsky in junior lacrosse gives Reinholdt a good handle on what the staff will expect. The challenge now is trying to figure out if Malawsky was serious in a pre-draft conversation.
“I talked with Curt before the draft and he said if we draft you, you’re not allowed to go across centre,” Reinholdt said. “I don’t know if he was joking or not, but I do like to play tenacious defense and get under people’s skin.”
Humor or not, Reinholdt’s game is no joke. While he is very familiar with the offensive zone and what needs to be done there, the switch to the back end is something that caught on very quickly and he’s thrived with his tactics and quickness, elements that should add youth and speed to Calgary’s transition.
“I just try to get out on the carrier as quick as I can,” he said. “I’m not a huge guy, so I like to get on the carrier quickly and cause some panic.”
Workouts are ongoing so he’ll arrive at camp in the best shape of his life, an element that cannot be forsaken in a league where the competition for roster spots are intense.
“The biggest thing is everyone can play,” Reinholdt said of his transition to the NLL. “There’s very little room for error and every practice, we’ll be fighting for spots. There are so many talented guys out there and some are watching games, waiting for someone else to not do well.”
So what’s his approach heading into camp?
“Even if you’re not scoring, or making a big play, focus on something, anything,” he said.
And if all that work and all that focus translates into an NLL job with the Roughnecks, it’ll be even better than hearing his name called at the draft. Because on that night, the job was just beginning. Now it’s up to Reinholdt to show the Roughnecks they made the right decision.
“I’m super excited, especially about Calgary,” he said. “My dad grew up there and hopefully I’ll get to play there and see some of the family at games that I usually don’t see a lot of.”