On May 19, it was announced that highly-touted Blackhawks prospect Lukas Reichel is headed to Helsinki, Finland to participate in the IIHF World Championship games for his home country of Germany. It is an exciting opportunity for the young part time Rockford IceHog and part time Chicago Blackhawk to get some extra playing time in a competitive setting.
Oh, you don't read German?
Lukas Reichel was the best player on the IceHogs this season as he recorded 57 points (21 goals, 36 assists) in 56 games played. Over one point a game is exactly what you'd like to see in a rising prospect. He showed a ton of promise as the star on the IceHogs. He was called up in April to the Blackhawks. With Chicago, he played in 11 games, playing roughly just 13 minutes a game. During his time at the United Center, Lukas Reichel recorded just one point (an assist), which just goes to show you how much work he needs at the Rockford level. He did return to Rockford for the postseason where he recorded 2 goals in the 5 games they played.
It is evident that even after an impressive season in Rockford, there is still much more that Reichel must work on in terms of development. During a rebuild, the Blackhawks should definitely take their time. Many Blackhawks fans and reporters (myself included) feel that Kirby Dach was rushed up to the NHL, which ultimately has hurt his growth as a player in the league. He is a third overall pick who is not even close to playing to the level a third overall pick should play. Hopefully the Blackhawks can avoid that same problem with Reichel.
A great continuation of that development is for Reichel to get some playing time in the competitve setting of the IIHF World Championship. He already has had an impressive start with Germany, in one game recording an assist and a goal. We'll see what his production looks like by the end!