Hawks Insider

Behind the scenes look at how Blackhawks drafted Lukas Reichel

/ by Charlie Roumeliotis
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
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The NHL Draft is an exciting time for all 31 teams because it's a chance to replenish the organizational pipeline. 

"This is when your team of the future starts to take shape," GM Stan Bowman said on Episode 2 of the Blackhawks' On the Clock series. "And you'd be in the wrong business if you didn't get excited about that."

The episode, which aired Wednesday on the Blackhawks' social media channels, opened with Bowman and Vice President of Amateur Scouting Mark Kelley talking about forward Lukas Reichel and defenseman Kaiden Guhle.

"Reichel's there, do you like him?" Kelley asked.

"I like him a lot," Bowman responded. "The question between Reichel and Guhle is just which is the higher value?"

The Blackhawks valued both of those players and figured — or hoped — at least one of them would be available at No. 17 overall. But before it got to that point, a mini trade discussion happened.

During the Winnipeg Jets' selection at No. 10 overall, Bowman was seen showing Kelley a text and summarizing out loud: "He said if it's the goalie, you'll have to sweeten. I said, 'What do you want? Tell me the price.' I told him Winnipeg took [Cole] Profetti."

The trade partner, presumably, was the Nashville Predators, who took goaltender Yaroslav Askarov with the next pick at No. 11 overall. The Blackhawks did their due diligence, but the asking price appeared to be too high so they decided to stay the course.

Fast forward to the No. 15 overall pick, held by the Toronto Maple Leafs, and this is where the Blackhawks were holding their breath.

 

"This is the key thing right here," Bowman said. "This pick."

The selection? Rodion Amirov.

"Beautiful," Kelley said, then fist-bumping Bowman.

At least one of the two players the Blackhawks were originally targeting were going to be there: Guhle and Reichel.

"Do you want the defenseman or do you want the skilled forward?" Kelley asked. "I like the forward cause I think there's an upside. His ceiling makes him a vital part of a top-six."

The Montreal Canadiens selected Guhle at No. 16, making the decision easy for the Blackhawks. They got their guy in Reichel at No. 17.

"We got him," Kelley said to Bowman. "We just played it right out. Yesterday we said if we got him, we'd be really happy."

Watch the full episode below: 

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