The Blackhawks have signed their 2020 first round pick, Lukas Reichel to a three-year entry-level deal. The deal is worth $925,000 per season.
The Blackhawks selected Reichel with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Reichel ironically played against the Blackhawks in the 2019 NHL Global Series Challenge as a member of Eisbren Berlin. He recorded 24 points in 42 games prior to being drafted.
This past season, Reichel took a massive step forward, as Stan Bowman noted in the Blackhawks official press release. Reichel recorded 27 points (10G, 17A) in 38 regular season games for Eisbren Berlin, and proceeded to add five points (2G, 3A) in nine postseason contests, en route to a 2021 DEL championship. The DEL is Germany’s top professional league.
Most recently, Reichel also assisted Germany in making it to the bronze medal game against Team USA, where they lost.
Reichel’s massive step forward this season excited the Blackhawks, and bringing him to North America is a necessary step in his development. Stan Bowman also noted the same in his comments, noting that it is the “next logical step” to bring Reichel to North America.
It’s uncertain whether Reichel will begin his North American career with the Rockford IceHogs or with the Chicago Blackhawks. He may be given the opportunity to skate for nine games, the maximum amount of games before his contract can no longer slide, but he will likely require a year of development with the IceHogs.
If Reichel in fact starts with the Rockford IceHogs, he will be skating in every meaningful situation in order to properly develop his skills. The Blackhawks have high hopes for Reichel and will be keeping a close eye on him in the AHL beginning in the fall.