Blackhawks’ Lucas Reichel Builds Strength, Weight Through Summer Training

Lucas Reichl and the Blackhawks entered this summer with a plan.

As of the 19-year-old last season, Rachel’s skill, vision and confidence were on display regularly. But his lack of strength was also evident, and it kept him from translating those positives into production: He finished the first 11 games of his Hawks career with just one point, one assist.

So leading up to her 20-year-old season—and the prospect of her successful season as a full-time NHL forward—Reichl has worked hard to gain weight, get stronger, and everything in between.

He’s split his summer between Chicago and Berlin, but he’s currently two weeks of workouts in four-week extended sessions at Fifth Third Arena with Hawks strength and conditioning coach Paul Goodman.

Goodman said, “I don’t think it’s a secret, if you watch some clips of him … that he might be stronger.” ,[We’re] giving him a strong lower half base, but also [making him] Strong upper body-wise—so he can intercept or stop guys and be diligent when defending the puck at the bottom. ,

Reichel herself added: “I’m still young, so I can improve everything, but the focus is to get strong, but not lose my sharpness on the ice. I don’t want to be too heavy, but I definitely need to be strong.” have to be.”

A solid marker of Reichel’s growth is her weight, which she said has grown to about 185 pounds (84 kg). Last year, he was listed at 6-0, 170 pounds and looked slim.

A more personalized, specific nutrition plan is part of being able to gain that weight. Hailing from Germany, Reichel’s eating habits weren’t terrible, but “not the best,” Goodman said. That has changed now, thanks to the addition of relatively simple things like a post-workout recovery shake.

However, while gaining that weight, Reichel has also been put through Goodman’s famous or infamous — depending on who’s describing it — training program. Improving his fitness, allowing him to handle the entire 82-game schedule for the first time in his life, has also been a priority. His time and weight are closely monitored with various exercises in the gym.

“Not only to reach them [goals] But also give him challenges he hasn’t reached yet, so he has something he has to work towards, which has been really effective,” Goodman said. “He has turned to it very well.”

Training camp in September should make for a less abrupt change for him.

“You don’t want someone to gain five or 10 pounds if they really haven’t gone at all… over time they’re gaining it,” Goodman said. “We want to make sure he’s moving and doing athletic things while still lifting some weight. So that when he goes out on the ice, he gets used to it and…he doesn’t feel pain.”

Meanwhile, on the ice, Reichel has worked with Hawks-affiliated trainer Brian Keane specifically on guarding the puck and sensing where the pressure is coming from.

As a rookie, Reichel flourished in transition—when he had plenty of open ice to skate or puck across—but struggled when opponents were close. He was easily pushed off the puck in tight spaces and board battles.

This was not surprising given his inexperience and background. For example, he noted a change from Germany’s larger rink requiring some adjustments. But if he is to translate his immense, immediate AHL success—57 points from 56 games for Rockford last year, fifth place among all AHL rookies—at the NHL level, he’ll need to improve those conditions significantly.

He and the Hawks certainly have a common purpose for this coming season.

It’s not guaranteed he’ll spend an entire year on the NHL roster—the Hawks probably don’t want him working hard on a tanking team if he’s not playing first or second in line with decent linemates—but he’s given every chance. Will go to prove that he needs. And he believes he is ready to seize it.

“That was my goal last season as well, but of course this season, I want to play in the NHL for the whole season,” Reichl said. “It’s definitely exciting. All the young players in Chicago right now, we all have a great chance to make the team and get a few more minutes and be part of the rebuild.”

off season update

  • The Hawks signed a three-year entry-level contract to pursue 2021 seventh-round draft pick, Jalen Luppen. Lupine broke last season for WHL Edmonton with 64 points in 66 games. General Manager Kyle Davidson said in a statement that Lupen’s “overall game has made great progress” and that their “strong work ethic is what we are seeing in our prospects.”
  • The Hawks announced their preseason schedule, which will begin at home against the Blues on September 27 – six days after training camp opened on September 21. They will host the Red Wings on October 1 and will face the Wilds at the Fisher Forum on October 2. in Milwaukee. They will also play road games against all three of the above teams before the opening of the regular season on 12 October in the Avalanche.

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