Earlier this week, the Blackhawks announced that Lukas Reichel and several other players were assigned to the Rockford IceHogs. Despite displaying all his talents at the 2021 Tom Kurvers Showcase and having a solid camp, Reichel’s assignment to Rockford was the correct decision.
With the organization now flush with NHL forward depth, there is no impending need for Reichel to make the Blackhawks and have an immediate impact on the team’s win-loss record. Instead, he can take his time and develop properly in Rockford with Derek King and his coaching staff.
Another added bonus of being in Rockford is that Reichel should not suffer from the “Stan Bowman hype train.” In recent years, with no depth on the NHL roster, the front office has made a point of overhyping prospects ad nauseum, which has yielded unrealistic expectations and a lack of development. Current defensive prospect Ian Mitchell is the latest victim of the Bowman hype train. With the NHL roster full of NHL forwards thanks to the additions of Tyler Johnson and Jujhar Khaira, there is no need to hype and rush Reichel.
With Reichel out of the forward mix, decisions still need to be made on Henrik Borgstrom, MacKenzie Entwisle and Phillipp Kurashev.
In addition to Reichel, the Blackhawks also assigned forwards Andrei Altybarmakian, Brett Connolly, Jakub Pour, Josiah Slavin and Michal Teply and defensemen Louis Crevier, Michael Krutil and Isaak Phillips to the IceHogs. Connolly was waived and cleared waivers in order to be assigned to Rockford.
The organization also appears to be considering placing Alexander Nylander on waivers, presumably with the plan to send him to the IceHogs should he clear. Stay tuned for Blackhawks news at The Rink.