The Chicago Blackhawks made a big mistake with this prospectVincent Pariseon April 17, 2022 at 3:12 pm

The Chicago Blackhawks have a somewhat thin farm system right now. That is less than ideal since they are a very bad team at the NHL level. However, they do have a few prospects worth keeping an eye on over the next few years as they try to develop them.

One of those players is Lukas Reichel. The Chicago Blackhawks drafted him out of Germany with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. They are hoping that he is able to reach his potential which is a very good top-six NHL forward. He has a long way to go but he is on the right path.

In Saturday’s loss to the Nashville Predators, he collected his first career NHL point by assisting on Dominik Kubalik’s goal in the second period. It was a goal that put the Hawks ahead by a score of 2-1. Unfortunately, the lead wouldn’t hold and they fell to Nashville 4-3.

This wasn’t the only notable thing that happened with Reichel on this day either. This game was his 10th of the season which means that he has now burned the first year of his NHL contract. That could come back to be a big mistake for the Blackhawks down the line.

The Chicago Blackhawks burned a year of Lukas Reichel’s contract already.

They are going absolutely nowhere this season. They are now sitting at 25-39-11 which is the third-worst record in the Western Conference. They have literally been out of the playoff race since the start of November after their horrible start to the year.

Why would they burn this kid’s first year of his entry-level deal on a season like this? Well, there are some pros. He is gaining valuable experience with no pressure right now. However, if he does turn out to be a great player, the Hawks are going to have him on the cheap for one less season because of this move to let him play his 10th game.

They clearly saw it as necessary but it just seems like a bad idea. He has the makings of a very good player and when his entry-level deal is up early, they might regret letting him go past nine games in this meaningless season.

If they do regret it and have to pay him a lot early, however, there is one good thing to take away from that. It would mean that he turned out to be a great player and worth a 17th overall pick in the draft. Either way, this move was interesting and can be argued as both good and bad but it feels a little short-sighted.

Now that he is over that 10-game mark, the focus should be on him in a lot of ways. Seeing him score his first career NHL goal is next and then you’d like to see everything open up for him. When you watch him, it is clear that he belongs in the NHL so there could be some good things to come from it.

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