Chicago Blackhawks Player Grades: Diving into Lukas Reichel's subpar season

Chicago Blackhawks v Ottawa Senators
Chicago Blackhawks v Ottawa Senators / Chris Tanouye/Freestyle Photo/GettyImages
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When the Chicago Blackhawks 2023-24 season was about to be underway, the excitement around the young players was through the roof. With Connor Bedard coming into the NHL after being the Blackhawks' first-overall pick in 2023, others such as Kevin Korchinski, Alex Vlasic, and Lukas Reichel were expected to kickstart the youth movement in Chicago.

Lukas Reichel had been developing his game with the Rockford IceHogs (the Hawks' AHL affiliate) for the previous two seasons, and his first full season with the Blackhawks felt long awaited. The German forward was selected 17th overall by the Blackhawks in the 2020 NHL Draft, spending his post-draft season playing for Eisbären Berlin in the DEL, Germany's top professional league. After posting 27 points in 38 DEL games, Reichel proved himself to be the best prospect in the Blackhawks system.

Despite Reichel's smaller frame, the Blackhawks were intrigued by his skill and speed, two attributes that were lacking amongst the team's prospect pool at the time. His strong play carried over to the North American game once he arrived in Rockford for his first AHL season. Reichel's skill was apparent from day one as he finished with 57 points in 56 games, building more and more excitement for the young forward.

During his debut AHL season with the IceHogs, many began to question if Reichel would get called up to the Blackhawks to get his first taste of NHL action. Those questions were put to rest as Reichel played an eleven game stint in the NHL which he had one assist, showing that he was not quite ready to make the jump to the Blackhawks roster full-time.

Reichel spent the majority of the 2022-23 season in Rockford where he continued to be a top scorer in the AHL at such a young age. He was called up to the Blackhawks once again with a successful 23-game stint where he tallied 15 points in 23 games. Reichel's play made fans eager to see what was to come from him when the next season began, making him a near guarantee to be on the opening night roster.

Here is how Lukas Reichel's much anticipated first full NHL season played out...