The Winnipeg Jets have signed Czech forward Kristian Reichel to a two-year, entry-level contract, following a successful two-year ‘tryout’ with the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose.
On Monday, True North Sports + Entertainment announced the two-year deal that will begin in 2020-21, and see the 22-year-old earn $715K in 2020-21 and $790K in 2021-22 if playing with the Jets. Should Reichel spend his seasons with the Moose, he would make $70K annually.
Following back-to-back, single-season AHL deals, the son of former Toronto Maple Leafs forward Robert Reichel impressed the Jets’ head office as a single WHL season, undrafted walk-on, who put together 12 goals and 17 points in 39 games for Manitoba this season, following a 2018-19 campaign that saw him score twice, while adding eight assists in 55 games.
The six-foot, 180-pound forward had a rough start to the 2019-20 season, missing nearly two full months of action while recovering from an injury suffered just four games in. Reichel scored his first goal of the season on his return to action on December 7. He later saw a string of five goals in five games in early March as he worked his way up the lineup following strong production.
Skating primarily alongside CJ Suess, JC Lipon, Seth Griffith and Andrei Chibisov, Reichel did earn a shot on the top line with Kristian Vesalainen and David Gustafsson for the final two weeks of the COVID-19 shortened season. The second-year pro only produced 61 shots this season, but operated at a ridiculous 19.7 shooting percentage on the year – ranking second on the team only to Griffith.