After weeks of speculation, Lukas Reichel has moved one step closer to making it to the NHL.
According to Blackhawks insider Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago, Lukas Reichel has been promoted and has been assigned to the teams taxi squad, where he will join defenseman Nicolas Beaudin.
Lukas Reichel, who was drafted 17th overall in the 2020 NHL draft, has been considered the top prospect in the organization. Reichel was placed on concussion protocol after a November game against the Milwaukee Admirals. The 19 year old forward has been tearing it up with the Rockford IceHogs, where he has registered 11 goals and 9 assists, with 6 penalty minutes and a -3 rating in 20 games and was named the AHL player of the week after registering six points in two games.
Reichel will join a Blackhawks roster that is lacking offense. In his first professional season in North America, Reichel has proven to put himself in key scoring situations, with being a point per game player in the AHL. Promoting Reichel right now should be crucial to his development as the Blackhawks are 10 points back from a wild card spot in the Western Conference.
The Blackhawks are expected to be careful with Reichel's development. They are currently not in playoff contention and should keep him in the AHL if his promotion to the NHL does not work out. Reichel is expected to slot into a third line role to begin his NHL career, but he can provide young energy and offense with the potential to move up to a potential top six position with forwards Alex DeBrincat and Brandon Hagel. With his offensive skills, he could also be beneficial on the power play.
It is unclear when Reichel will be recalled from the taxi squad, but we could see him make his debut within the next two home games.
The Blackhawks return to the United Center Thursday night for a game against the slumping Montréal Canadiens.