ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–Lukas Reichel passed his latest test in the NHL with the Blackhawks with flying colors. So, what is he doing back here in Rockford with the IceHogs? It’s all part of the Blackhawks’ plan and exercise in patience with young talent.
At the AHL level, Reichel is an All-Star. That became official last week when he was select to attend the All-Star festivities next month. At the NHL level, he has had limited experience, but he has been impressive. In a recent three-game stint with the Blackhawks he had an assist and his first NHL goal.
“My family watched it at home in Germany at like 3am,” said Reichel Tuesday after practice. “Yea, it was pretty late, but of course they were happy for me. I called them after the game. In Germany it was like 7 a.m.
“When I score, it doesn’t matter in Rockford or the NHL, my dad always takes a shot, drinks a shot, and it’s like pretty funny when it’s like 3am at night, but he’s not an alcoholic so, I’m not saying that, but it’s just like funny.”
Riechel’s dad might be consuming a lot of shots in the future based on the scoring ability of Reichel.
With the Blackhawks Reichel really clicked on a line with Max Domi and Philipp Kurashev.
“I think like right away from the first game we had a good chemistry and played really good, and then you gain confidence. Now I just want to move forward and play the same way here.”
The Blackhawks continue to exercise patience with Reichel. That’s why he’s back in Rockford, not because he can’t handle the NHL, but because he can gain more playing at the AHL level for now.
“I’m still young, so I’ve got to be patient. We have good coaches here, a good staff. We learn so much here.”
So what is it that the Blackhawks want to see from Reichel while he’s back in Rockford?
“I think just continued growth and play without the puck,” said IceHogs’ head coach Anders Sorensen. “And I think really learning to defend, learning to be in situations late in games, special teams, being a part of all those things are really important for his development.”
Sorensen says Reichel already has shown more strength than he did a year ago, and Reichel is getting better at handling matchups against opposing top players.
Reichel and the IceHogs are hosting Grand Rapids Wednesday night.