The 2020 NHL Entry Draft has gotten underway, and in the first round, Chicago had the 17th overall pick. With this selection, they chose a young left-winger from the German DEL.
The Chicago Blackhawks have selected left winger Lukas Reichel from Eisbären Berlin with their first-round draft pick. The 18-year-old will not be likely to make the roster right out of the starting gate but should be a player that can be effective for Chicago in the next few years.
Reichel is a 6’0, 172-pound left-handed shot who has a good hockey sense and decent hands. NHL.com writer Mike Morreale sums his game up well:
"The nephew of former NHL center Robert Reichel is a powerful skater, good on the forecheck and and can create scoring chances around the net."
There were many different options for the Hawks to choose from, but Reichel is a player that should be able to slot into the second or third line within a few years and make an impact. Although he is not the biggest player in the world, he makes up for it with a strong puck sense and decent hockey IQ.
Born in Nunberg, Germany, Reichel played for junior team SB Rosenheim in his youth and began his career with Eisbären Berlin in the 2019-20 season. He made an immediate impact with Eisbären, scoring 12 goals and 12 assists in 42 games played.
Internationally, Reichel has also represented Germany on the world stage, playing in the 2020 World Junior Championships. Reichel put up 5 points in 7 WJC games, and also scored 7 points in 11 games in international junior tournaments.
If he does spend another year in the DEL, as he likely will, expect Reichel to continue to contribute offensively, as he was on a thirty point pace season last year with Eisbären. If Chicago continues to be impressed by his offensive prowess, then we may be seeing him in a Blackhawks jersey sooner rather than later.
Welcome to the Chicago Blackhawks, Lukas Reichel!