The Chicago Blackhawks selected German left wing Lukas Reichel with the 17th pick in Tuesday night’s NHL draft.
Reichel comes with hockey bloodlines as the son of 1992 Edmonton Oilers draft pick Martin Reichel and the nephew of Robert Reichel, a former Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs center who helped the Czech Republic win the 1998 Olympic gold medal.
Reichel was the second German picked in the first round after the Ottawa Senators took left wing Tim Stuetzle at No. 3.
Reichel had 12 goals and 12 assists in 42 games for Eisbaren Berlin last season.
NHL Central Scouting ranked Reichel 11th among European skaters, comparing him to Maple Leafs center John Tavares, the No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft. Reichel’s scouting report calls him a “talented playmaker” and a “smart passer with good puck skills.”
The Hawks passed on Canadian center Hendrix Lapierre, whom NHL Central Scouting compared to Hawks captain Jonathan Toews.
There were questions about Lapierre’s medical history, which includes spinal injuries that might be related to concussions.
The New York Rangers took coveted left wing Alexis Lafreniere with the No. 1 pick. Lafreniere has said Hawks star Patrick Kane was his favorite player growing up.
The Los Angeles Kings picked Canadian center Quinton Byfield second, making him the highest-selected Black player in NHL draft history. Seth Jones (Predators) and Evander Kane (Thrashers) were chosen with the No. 4 pick in 2013 and 2009, respectively.
“Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek introduced the third pick, Stuetzle.
Several players thought to be on the Hawks radar went off the board before their pick, including goaltender Yaroslav Askarov (No. 11, Predators), centers Anton Lundell (No. 12, Panthers), Seth Jarvis (No. 13, Hurricanes) and Dylan Holloway (No. 14, Oilers) and Russian winger Rodion Amirov (No. 15, Maple Leafs).
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