2022 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Rieger Lorenz

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Rieger Lorenz

2022 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Rieger Lorenz

Chicago Blackhawks

The 2022 NHL Draft is around the corner, so we’re turning our attention to some players who might be of interest when the Chicago Blackhawks are on the clock with their first selection. Keep in mind that most analysts consider this year’s draft class as relatively light on high-end players, so the difference between a player selected at 25 or 50 may not be as significant down the road. Development is going to be key to get value out of the 2022 NHL Draft.

Earlier this week we profiled US college prospect Jack Hughes. Today, we’ll look at another forward option to help the Blackhawks put the puck in the net.

Rieger Lorenz

Left Wing
DOB: March 30, 2004
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 185
Shoots: Left
2021-22 Team: Okotoks Oilers (AJHL)

Ranked #42 by Scott Wheeler (The Athletic)
Ranked #54 by Corey Pronman (The Athletic)
Ranked #17 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #52 by TSN/Bob McKenzie
Ranked #42 by Chris Peters
Ranked #40 by FCHOCKEY
Ranked #58 by McKeen’s Hockey
Ranked #42 by TSN/Craig Button
Ranked #75 by Recruit Scouting
Ranked #40 by Draft Prospects Hockey
Ranked #51 by Smaht Scouting
Ranked #40 by The Puck Authority

From Corey Pronman’s Analysis:

Skating: Below NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: Below NHL average
Compete: NHL average
Shot: Above NHL average

“Lorenz is a big winger with a high skill level. He has loose, quick hands that can manipilate the puck easily. Those hands are evident in how he stickhandles and his release, as he is a threat to score from range with his wrist shot. Lorenz isn’t the most cerebreal player though and can lean on his shot too much. He skates fine and shows good flashes of quickness but doesn’t often pull away from checks. He projects as a bottom-six winger.”

From Scott Wheeler’s Analysis:

“The top NHL prospect at Canada’s Jr. A level this year, Lorenz, who posted 96 points in a 74 combined regular season and playoff games in the AJHL and impressed as one of Team Canada’s lone bright spots at U18 worlds (where they outscored the opposition 6-0 with him on the ice at five-on-five). He’s a driven, puck-protection player who wins lanes in possession, forechecks to get it back when he doesn’t have it, gets to high-danger areas (either in control with his soft hands or off the puck to play to the front of the net), and then can finish plays when he’s there with a hard and accurate shot. But he can also play to the perimeter and facilitate (he does a good job identifying and then finding second and third options). He’s not mean, but he already takes what is given (and sometimes what isn’t), plays hard, elevates his linemates, and will continue to fill out his frame. He was also one of the best penalty killers in the AJHL this year and led the league in short-handed goals with five. Lorenz projects as a middle-six winger.”

From Chris Peters’ Analysis

“I’ve got time for him. His skating is not amazing, which is why I think he slips, but he led the BCHL in scoring and is going to Denver, where they’ve developed a lot of players quite well. He should be available in this range and it’s never a bad thing to bet on some skill if it’s available to you. He’s probably the most likely of the guys I listed to be available at 38. He’s a proven scorer.”

Is Lorenz a fit in Chicago?

As was the case with Hughes, the first red flag we see here is the below average grade on his skating. But, as was the case with Hughes, we had a caveat: Lorenz is also headed to college this coming season, so he can work to improve that aspect of his game. Lorenz is committed to the University of Denver, which has produced some terrific NHL players and prospects recently — including Ian Mitchell.

I come back to the analysis Chris Peters provided earlier this summer. “He’s a proven scorer.” At 6-2 and 185 as a teenager, Lorenz would have ideal size and he’s been productive everywhere he’s played. His shot grading as above average makes him an interesting prospect for the Blackhawks to consider. And, while Pronman questions his hockey sense, the commitment to DU shows a top college program likes his game.

This would be a draft and develop player for the Blackhawks, which is fine. As I said before, in the second round the Blackhawks aren’t going to land a guy who changes their NHL roster overnight. And Lorenz will have time to work on the aspects that have question marks at a program that has a strong track record.

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab