Lukas Reichel on ice

Blackhawks reveal Lukas Reichel's future fate with the organization

Published February 20, 2024 at 12:22

It can be viewed as a failure by some prospects sent down to the AHL, and they have a hard time climbing out of the hole that they have dug for themselves.

Luke Richardson and the Blackhawks, however, want one of their top prospects, Lukas Reichel, to utilize the AHL as a means to an end.


Coach Luke Richardson wanted Richardson to take advantage of this chance to find his fire internally, as he is being sent down to the Rockford Ice Hogs.

"I wanted to stay totally positive with him," Richardson said Monday. "I said, 'You're a great young man. You're a pleasure to work with. Now you've got to find that desire internally. We know that you want it, but you've got to get over feeling sorry for yourself and just be excited to play and go after it.'

"We just said, 'We believe in you. We believe you can do it. It's just a matter of time. You have to find a way to find it.' He said, 'Thanks,' and appreciated that. He's going down with a good attitude."

Reichel knows he wants to be an NHL player, but he has to apply himself and the tactics he's learned in recent practices to succeed.

As Richardson was sent down to the AHL, Richardson and Reichel kept things constructive and positive.

"We worked for a few days on battling through on the walls and [in] some tough areas, and driving and shooting pucks," Richardson said. "I just thought at this point in time — and Kyle made the call — it's a good time to go play some games down there. We can only do so much battle drills in practice.

"It worked really well for him last year, and we just think [it's helpful] for him to go down and get some confidence and a high volume of reps in offensive situations and power-play situations. That's going to help him. Hopefully he can find his game and get his confidence, and then [we'll] get him back up just like last year"

Reichel dominated the AHL last season, playing 55 games with the Rockford IceHogs and posting 51 points in that time frame.

Thus, the team is using this as a way to rebuild Reichel's confidence, which has been sorely lacking in his NHL game.

They hope Reichel returns to the NHL eventually and becomes the prospect they all hope he will be rather than scratching him a third time.

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February 20   |   183 answers
Blackhawks reveal Lukas Reichel's future fate with the organization

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