Lukas Reichel is expected to play Saturday, Chicago Blackhawks interim head coach Derek King told the media Friday. This will result in the team using the first year of the rookie forward’s entry-level contract.
The 19-year-old has no points in nine NHL games this season. The Blackhawks could have opted to send him down to the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL to have his contract slide and start for the 2022-23 season. Chicago has eight games remaining this season.
Reichel leads the IceHogs in goals (21), assists (28), and points (49) in 49 games this campaign. He has not gone more than two AHL games without scoring at least one point since December.
The Blackhawks could opt to have Lukas Reichel play in some or all of their remaining five games before sending him back to Rockford. Chicago is eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoffs contention, while Rockford is sitting as the No. 4 seed in the Central Division. The IceHogs have nine regular-season games remaining, with their season finale April 30 against the Chicago Wolves. The Chicago Blackhawks’ season finale is April 29 at the Buffalo Sabres.
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