Lukas Reichel was the standout skater of the Blackhawks’ showcase. There are a lot of things to love about his game, and a few things that need work.
The Blackhawks found a gem in the 2020 Draft in Lukas Reichel. Many considered him to be a litter and yes he still hasn’t proven himself but there is a lot to look forward to when it comes to his playing.
In the small sample size of a full scrum, he really impressed me personally with his offensive abilities (and reluctance to use skills) as well as his defensive prowess.
Reichel has a defensive awareness, able to come back for a mission missed by the D in the first period of the scrum. He was also excellent in faceoffs, which the Blackhawks sorely missed last season. Does that mean he will start at the center in the NHL? No, and I don’t think he’ll start in the NHL anyway.
His speed and work ethic are also perfect for his age group, which was noticeable throughout the fray. He would be the power play quarterback, trying to prepare Colton Dach for a scoring chance. His defense and early-piece abilities are a good thing, but something is sorely lacking in his repertoire.
He needs to shoot the puck a lot more than he has. Just like Kirby dach, he misses scoring opportunities to pass the puck instead of shooting it. Will it hamper his production in the NHL? I doubt. Reichel is the kind of guy who is a great second and third row center who uses his hard work to score dirty goals in the paint. He’s obviously not a sniper as he uses his hockey IQ and reading the game to prepare his teammates to score goals instead of making room for a high-quality SOG.
I understand Reichel is not a sniper, but the opposition will always have a read on how he plays the game. When he plays with a guy like Alex Debrincat Where Patrick kane, everyone knows he will pass first instead of shooting, so they will take extra care to cover the passing lanes.
When he learns to create space for his own opportunities, the defense will have a harder time trying to figure out what he wants to do.