Lukas Reichel will formally make the Atlantic leap and be a part of the Blackhawks’ group subsequent season.
Reichel signed his three-year NHL entry-level contract with the Hawks on Wednesday, shortly after Germany’s run on the World Championships ended Sunday — because the Chicago Solar-Instances reported final month he would.
His new contract carries a $925,000 cap hit via 2024.
“Lukas made super strides in his second 12 months as an expert,” Hawks normal supervisor Stan Bowman mentioned in a press release. “The sport appeared to decelerate for him this previous season, which allowed his play-making abilities to be on full show. Bringing him over to North America is the logical subsequent step for his continued growth and we’re excited to have the ability to add such a younger, dynamic participant to our ahead group.”
The 19-year-old ahead — the Hawks’ high prospect and seventeenth total choose in final 12 months’s draft — adopted up a superb season with Eisbaren Berlin with one other robust efficiency within the World Championships.
Germany went 4-3 within the group stage and eradicated Switzerland within the quarterfinals earlier than dropping to Finland within the semifinals and to the U.S. within the bronze-medal recreation. Reichel had six factors (two targets and 4 assists) in 9 video games, good for third on the crew.
Reichel will arrive in North America subsequent season having bulked as much as 176 kilos (and counting) and exhibiting potential to transition to a middle. His Berlin coach, Serge Aubin, moved him to heart for a lot of this previous season and noticed him thrive there, scoring 27 factors in 38 regular-season video games and 5 factors in 9 postseason video games en path to the German league title.
“I used him as a [first]-line participant,” Aubin mentioned final month. “His skating this 12 months was even higher than final 12 months. He’s actually an elite skater. And his decision-making was additionally higher. We might see numerous development.”
Reichel’s agent, Allain Roy, described Reichel’s growth as like “a boy taking part in in a males’s league” in 2019-20 versus “a person towards males” in 2020-21. Roy additionally mentioned in Might he and Bowman anticipated to settle Reichel’s first contract after the World Championships concluded, and he wasted no time.
Whether or not Reichel will begin the 2021-22 season instantly taking part in within the NHL stays to be decided, although. He’ll be given each alternative to show he ought to stick to the Hawks, however his acclimation may very well be aided by at the very least a pair months within the AHL.
Competitors can be fierce for NHL roster spots, too, because the Hawks presently are staring down a logjam of forwards with incoming children Reichel and Henrik Borgstrom solely including to the overload.
NOTES: The Hawks let their draft rights to Roope Laavainen and Cole Moberg expire on June 1. Their rights to Josh Ess will expire Aug. 15.
—- The Rockford IceHogs re-signed forwards Dylan McLaughlin and Chris Wilkie to AHL contracts for 2021-22. McLaughlin, 26, was the AHL affiliate’s main scorer this previous season with 22 factors in 28 video games. Wilkie, 24, was fourth on the crew with 13 factors.