The Chicago Blackhawks have some young players to be very excited about.
Reichel became the team’s forgotten top prospect the moment Bedard was drafted. Reichel realizing his immense potential might just be as important as Bedard’s if the Hawks are going to contend for a Stanley Cup down the road.
Reichel flashed his potential last season during a brief NHL appearance. Now he is set to be the second-line center full-time. He got stronger in the offseason and feels ready for the larger role.
He still has some ways to go before he can be considered an All-Star player. Reichel has to work on winning face-offs and his defense much like Bedard. He can work on his NHL game without the pressure thanks to Bedard.
If he reaches his immense potential, Reichel and Bedard have the chance to form a Stanley Cup-winning duo.
The team’s top defensive prospect is at the NHL level for at least eight more games. Then the franchise has to decide to either send him back to the WHL or keep him on the roster.
Korchinski is 19 so he is not eligible to be sent to the Rockford Ice Hogs. That presents a problem as there is not much left for Korchinski to develop at the junior level. On the flip side, his body might not be ready for the rigors of a full NHL season.
Plus, general manager Kyle Davidson prefers to be patient with a prospect’s development. Reichel is an example of that. Davidson did acknowledge that the player’s performance in their NHL opportunity will dictate if they stay with the big-league club.
Korchinski held his own in his official NHL debut. He had two blocked shots and had two takeaways in 19:19 minutes of ice time.
The impressive part was that he was not overwhelmed. The hope is that Korchinski is the Duncan Keith of this new era of Chicago Blackhawks hockey.
He has eight more games to prove he needs to stay in the NHL season or otherwise, it is back to the WHL to dominate at the juniors.