Another prospect is reportedly on his way to Chicago.
According to Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times, 2020 first-round pick Lukas Reichel will be signing with the team that drafted him in the summer, likely after Reichel finishes playing for Germany in the IIHF World Championships.
Reichel, who turned 19 on Monday, was selected by Chicago with the No. 17 overall pick. When meeting with the media soon after the draft, Reichel offered his own timeline for when he expected to be ready for the NHL level:
When does Lukas Reichel think he can make it to the NHL?— Brandon Cain (@brandonmcain) October 7, 2020
"Two years" #Blackhawks
That appears to have changed following Reichel’s stellar season with DEL champions Eisbaren Berlin. Reichel played in 38 games during the regular season, notching 10 goals and 17 assists. During the postseason, Reichel added five points in nine playoff games. And keep in mind that Reichel played this entire season as an 18-year-old in a league of full-grown, adult men.
Reichel hasn’t slowed down since heading to Latvia for the IIHF Worlds, either:
It’s likely still premature to start projecting where Reichel will slot into the Chicago lineup for the 2021-22 NHL season, as he’ll still need to earn a roster spot in training camp in what is an increasingly crowded crop of young forwards in the Blackhawks’ organization.
But that’s a good problem to have.
For those interested in seeing Reichel on the ice, Germany faces Canada in the IIHF Worlds on Monday at 12 p.m. CT, and the game will be broadcast on the NHL Network.