Photo Credit: Jan Malte Diekmann
D.O.B – May 17, 2002
Nationality – Germany
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Height – 6’0
Weight – 172 lbs
Position – Left Wing/Right Wing
Handedness – Left
Reichel’s Style Of Play
Reichel shot up the rankings this year after coming into the season as a bit of an unknown outside of Europe. While a constant on junior national teams, he had played second fiddle to Peterka and Stützle, while also being less physically developed than both. But what he did in Berlin this year made everyone sit up and take notice. Only Goc and Stützle have ever really had better draft years in the DEL. The winger of Czech descent comes from a big hockey family, his dad Martin (Oilers 2nd rounder, Olympics for Germany 02), uncle Robert (800+ games, 1st liner, 93pt season Flames) and cousin Kristian (AHL, Jets) all played pro hockey.
Reichel’s game is constructed around his hockey IQ. Yes, the young German has great vision and impressive passing ability, but the foundations for where he wins on ice have been built due to what is between his ears. It is rare for an 18 year old to be capable of playing such a mistake free game, especially in a pro league, and especially when they go into every physical battle at a disadvantage. He patrols lanes well, has an active stick, and is more than capable of slotting in for his center in the defensive zone if they are caught up ice. Reichel is also a competent penalty killer while required to fulfill that role. It speaks volumes for how much he prides himself on the minutiae of his chosen profession that it is a surprise to see him out of position, caught up ice, or late to make a play.
Offensively he is a pass first player who skates very well, having both good speed and impressive agility. However, this year he has shown he can be a goalscorer when given the opportunity and a good play-making center. Despite being physically underdeveloped, Reichel thrives in the tough areas of ice. He possesses the uncanny ability to pop up around the net and crease with acres of daylight around him. His plus hands in tight mean that once he gets the puck within 5ft of the net it is a rarity for him not to effect a dangerous shot, even if being harangued by a defenseman. He works extremely hard over all 200ft of ice, but can lose battles vs pros due to size right now.
While he has legitimate top six upside, Reichel also feels a “safe” pick late in the first round. Unless his development trajectory alters enormously you would expect him to be at worst a solid NHL bottom six forward. Barring physical maturity there are no real major flaws to his game right now.
Ondřej Palát, Left Wing, Tampa Bay Lightning
Reichel has the potential to become an NHL player in the mold of the Tampa Bay stalwart. The young German is a better skater than his Czech counterpart, but both have fantastic hockey IQ, high-end passing ability, and a strong 200-ft game. Furthermore, while both are pass-first players they have good hands and a shot that can cause goalies serious trouble. Neither is scared of going to the net-front and nabbing some dirty goals here and there, and have an instinctive ability of where to find space in the danger areas.
Prospect report written by Alexander Appleyard. If you would like to follow Alexander on Twitter, his handle is @Avappleyard.
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