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Sport Blackhawks expected to sign Lukas Reichel after World Championships

23:55  22 may  2021
23:55  22 may  2021 Source:   prohockeyrumors.com

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After being drafted last fall, Blackhawks prospect Lukas Reichel estimated that he was a couple of years away from being ready for the NHL.  However, after a strong season with Eisbaren Berlin in Germany — where he worked his way up the lineup down the stretch while transitioning from the wing to center — that timeline could be accelerated.  To that end, Reichel’s agent Allain Roy told Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times that the expectation is that the youngster will sign his entry-level deal at the conclusion of the World Championships.

diagram © Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The 19-year-old was a late riser in the 2020 draft and went from being ranked as a second-round pick by some agencies to the 17th pick by Chicago after a good first season with Berlin.  He followed that up by finishing fifth in scoring with Berlin this season on a veteran-laden team with 10 goals and 17 assists in 38 games while chipping in with five more points in nine playoff contests.  That helped him earn an invite to the Worlds where he is tied for the tournament lead in scoring through the first few days with two goals and three helpers in just two games.  His presence at that tournament prevents him from being signed right away, which is why they’ll have to wait a couple of weeks.

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Chicago doesn’t need to have Reichel in the NHL right away, however.  Although he’s still junior-aged, he is eligible to play with AHL Rockford since he wasn’t drafted out of the CHL, and that might not be a bad idea for his development to ease his transition to the smaller North American ice surface.  In that event, his deal would be eligible to slide a year if he plays in nine or fewer NHL games next season.  Either way, Reichel should be playing under the watchful eye of the organization in 2021-22.

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