With the 17th overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft, the Blackhawks selected German winger Lukas Reichel.
6-0, 170 pounds
Ranked #43 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #33 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Ranked #31 by ISS HOCKEY
Ranked #33 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON
Ranked #38 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #11 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (EU Skaters)
Ranked #41 by DOBBERPROSPECTS/ROBINSON
Ranked #20 by TSN/McKenzie
From Steve Kournianos (TheDraftAnalyst.com):
“A strategy that involved the drafting of defensemen with three consecutive first-round picks between 2017 and 2018 has now shifted towards the offense, where Reichel joins center Kirby Dach and Alex DeBrincat at the top of Chicago’s list of premier young forwards. Reichel is a mature young man who certainly knows what do with the puck in both open ice and in close quarters. His goal-scoring abilities and stickhandling will become an instant hit once Blackhawks fans get to see him participate in the prospect camps.”
From Chris Peters (ESPN):
“Players on the front end of what I think will be a rapidly progressing development curve fascinate me. Looking at the season Reichel put together in 2019-20 leads me to believe he’s on an NHL trajectory with some added time building strength and pace. The hand skills and hockey sense are sensational. His creativity is off the charts. There’s no fear or apprehension in his game. Sure, he looks every bit of his age (17) right now, but there’s still time for him to mature physically. Assuming his skill and speed maintain, he has a chance to be a pretty good NHL player.
“Reichel is interesting because there’s a chance he could go in the top 15 or not until the second round, based on the opinions I’ve heard. I’m obviously on the higher side. He’s a skilled wing who produced at a high rate for his age in a league I think is far better than it’s given credit for. Reichel has a high-end, deceptive release on his shot, and he can shoot off the rush with accuracy. Those skills project very favorably to being able to score at the next level. Only Marco Sturm and Marcel Goc scored more goals than Reichel’s 12 in their under-18 seasons in the DEL.
“And I actually think Reichel’s playmaking ability might be even better than his release. The quickness with which he makes his decisions, including smart passes in traffic or on the rush, stands out. Despite his relatively slight frame, he gets into the hard areas of the ice and isn’t afraid to get to the front of the net. After maybe another year in Europe and perhaps another season or two in the AHL, Reichel could be a really effective winger with a chance to grow into a top-six role down the line if everything breaks just right.”
From Corey Pronman (The Athletic):
Reichel had an impressive season playing versus men and getting regular minutes in the DEL for a good club in Eisbaren Berlin. I always saw some skill and speed in his game, but this season I saw a high level of creativity with the puck, making difficult plays through defenders and to his teammates. He has the skill and the pace to score in the NHL. I wouldn’t call him the true playmaker you want running a power play, but he sees the ice well and gets a high IQ grade due to how well he creates in small areas. The last time he recorded a penalty was two seasons ago in junior club play, but I don’t think he’s soft. I’ve seen him be hard on his puck pursuits, drive the net frequently and win battles versus bigger players.
Tobias Abstreiter, coach of Germany’s U20 team, on Reichel: “With the puck, he knows what to do. He brings speed and a high skill level.”
Pronman’s thoughts: Reichel kept trending up as the season went along. He excited teams as a player with a ton of above-average or better attributes. He can skate and make skilled plays at the NHL level, excelled versus men and did well at the world juniors. He looks like a player with the tools and makeup to become a top-six forward in the NHL.
From Chris Peters (ESPN):
“Reichel is another player with projections and opinions all over the map, but generally, there are a lot of positives in his game. The first: He has great hands and creativity. In averaging 0.57 points per game, only Marcel Goc, Marco Sturm and Tim Stutzle had better numbers in their U18 seasons in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. Reichel creates space and can extend plays. He needs to get a lot stronger, but even though he can be outmuscled, he doesn’t shy away from puck battles. He makes really smart reads with the puck on his stick and processes the game quickly. The hands, passing and offensive sense all put him in position to have success at the next level.”
CHI is picking Lukas Reichel. pic.twitter.com/8W2nfB8lVA— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) October 7, 2020
“He’s an unrelenting forechecker & backchecker, never gives up on a play, and wins battles through second efforts. Reichel is a pretty capable puck-handler too, even at top-speed carrying the puck through a defender’s triangle, showing a predilection for outside-in maneuvers, and deploying weight shifts to avoid contact.”
“The thing that stands out in his game is the hockey IQ, the ability to make plays.”— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) October 7, 2020
VP of Amateur Scouting Mark Kelley discusses forward Lukas Reichel. @SaintXavier | #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/7xW9FWCkR7
“When I was young my favorite player was Patrick Kane and my favorite team was always Chicago. And now I am a Blackhawk, too, and that’s awesome.”— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) October 7, 2020
Hear from the newest member of the #Blackhawks organization, Lukas Reichel!@ChevyDrivesChi | #NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/16Gi1bEBPR