It appears that the Chicago Blackhawks are going to be calling rookie Lukas Reichel up to the NHL. According to Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago, Chicago is planning to bring up their 2020 first-round pick and place him on the Taxi Squad.
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Source: #Blackhawks are calling up top prospect Lukas Reichel.
He will be assigned to the taxi squad, which is likely the first step towards ramping him up for NHL action soon. https://t.co/e2I7cQirsg
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) January 12, 2022
Reichel was recently named the AHL Player of the Week after scoring three goals and tallying three assists over this past weekend in two wins for the Rockford IceHogs. This season, Reichel leads the IceHogs in goals (11) and points (20) in 20 games as a rookie. Among active AHL rookies, Reichel is tied for the lead in goals, ranks fifth in points, and is one of seven rookies scoring at a point-per-game pace or better.
Reichel was recently ranked 87th by Corey Pronman of The Athletic on his midseason rankings of the top 160 Under-23 prospects.
There is value in him playing in the AHL and continuing to develop, especially given that the Blackhawks are not contenders this season. That said, it seems clear that Reichel can handle himself just fine at the AHL level and the nextstep in his development should be to see what he can do at the NHL level when games matter. If the Blackhawks believe that the season is not lost, that they can still make a run into the playoff chase, then they are going to do what they need to get there (and if not, well, the future is all we have to get hold onto, and Reichel could be a big part of that).
Reichel generates offense and the Blackhawks need players that can do that. I’m excited to see what he can do either at center or on the wing and would expect him to be paired with the likes of Kirby Dach, Patrick Kane, and/or Alex DeBrincat somewhere in the lineup.