Rieger Lorenz – 2022 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Rieger Lorenz

2021-22 Team: Okotoks Oilers (AJHL)
Date of Birth: March 30, 2004
Place of Birth: Calgary, Alberta
Ht: 6-foot-2 Wt: 185 pounds
Shoots: Left
Position: Centre
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible

Rankings

There were few players better than Rieger Lorenz this season in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). The Okotoks Oilers’ centre finished fifth in the league with 85 points in 60 games and came in fourth with 38 goals. Better yet, he was the only teenager to finish in the top-15 in points in the AJHL, was one of three players still under 19 years old to end with more than a point-per-game pace while also playing in two-thirds of their team’s games, and only one of two 18-year-olds to lead their teams in scoring; the other being Colby Browne of the Olds Grizzlies, who finished 2021-22 with 36 points.

Related: 2022 NHL Draft Guide

Given his incredible season, it’s not surprising that Lorenz was the highest-ranked Canadian Junior Hockey League player, by the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau, who gave him a B rating in their annual Players to Watch list released in November, following a stretch in which he put up 21 points in 17 games. His offence is arguably one of the most intriguing aspects of his game. He’s an incredibly quick, strong skater, which allows him to blow by opponents and get into open ice to receive a pass or send the puck to a teammate to create a scoring opportunity. Few players in the AJHL were able to generate as much offence as he was, too, as he had a 26-point lead over the next highest scorer on the Oilers. No other team had such a big gap between their first and second-place scorers.

Rieger Lorenz Okotoks Oilers
Rieger Lorenz, Okotoks Oilers (Chad Goddard Photography)

But Lorenz is more than just a one-dimensional scorer, as he also plays a well-rounded two-way game. Thanks to an advanced defensive sense and a 6-foot-2 frame, his coaches in Okotoks are more than happy to play him on special teams and in tougher situations than they may normally play their star player. “I think I’m a competitive two-way guy,” he said to FC Hockey’s Mark Dubreuil. “Especially here in Okotoks, I think our coach trusts me on the power play and PK. And I think I’m proud of myself this year for developing that defensive part of the game.”

Lorenz has worked hard to become a player that NHL teams want to add to their organization, putting in the time and effort over the 2020-21 season and during the offseason, and he possesses many of the skills that will make him a valuable member of any franchise. The only issue is the level of competition. The AJHL is not as difficult as the Western Hockey League (WHL) or the NCAA and stats can be inflated for players who possess even just slightly above average skills. Thankfully, he’ll put his abilities to the test in 2022-23 when he joins the University of Denver, and the hockey world should finally see his full tool kit.

Other THW Draft Profiles:

Rieger Lorenz – NHL Draft Projection

It is usually a stretch for a Canadian Junior A player to sneak into the first round, although it is becoming more common. Corson Cuelemans was selected 25th overall last summer, Alex Newhook, who played in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), went 16th in 2019, and Jacob Bernard-Docker was taken 26th overall in 2018. Currently, Lorenz is projected to go somewhere in the early second round, but more scouts are placing him at the end of the first.

Quotables

“Lorenz is one of the most versatile and well-rounded forwards in this draft, and he often looks too good for the league he plays in. He is the undisputed MVP for Okotoks, frequently logging more than 20 minutes of ice per game for the team, including top duties on both sides of special teams. He is an advanced skater who blends power, long strides, and good footwork to move well around the ice. He is at his best on the forecheck, applying furious pressure on defenders trying to exit their zone. Lorenz also shows superb understanding of how to help his centers win faceoffs, pouncing on opposing players who end up with the puck after the draw.” – Derek Neumeier, FC Hockey

“You know having that guy and the size and the speed that he brings and the passion that he has for the game of hockey. Always wanting to get better, always asking questions and really wants to be a professional hockey player.” – Tyler Deis, Okotoks Oilers Head Coach

Strengths

  • Speed and skating
  • Forechecking
  • Defensive awareness
  • Physicality

Under Construction (Improvements to Make)

  • Shot
  • Stamina
  • Defensive pressure

NHL Potential

Given Lorenz’s size, physicality, and offensive acumen, it’s not hard to see the similarities between him and a player like Dylan Holloway, who was selected 14th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in 2020 and has been extremely productive as an American Hockey League (AHL) rookie this season. Although he has yet to make the NHL, the Oilers are eagerly awaiting his arrival, which could be as early as next season, and they see him as a more talented Zach Hyman. Lorenz could very well fit that same mould, becoming a tenacious forechecker in the middle-six who refuses to back down to anyone. However, that will take some time, so whoever picks him will need to be patient as he develops in college.

Risk-Reward Analysis

Risk – 4/5, Reward – 3/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offence – 6.5/10, Defence – 6/10

Awards/Achievements

Lorenz was named the 2022 AJHL Rookie of the Year, following past recipients like Dany Heatley, Mike Comrie, Carter Savoie, and Cale Makar. He was also selected to both the AJHL’s All-League Team and the All-Rookie Team this season. Before joining the AJHL, he was named the Top Freshman of the U18 Canadian Sport School Hockey League after putting up 29 goals and 78 points in 33 games, which was fourth in the league and 12 points behind Connor Bedard. Although he has been drafted to both the United States Hockey League (USHL) and the WHL, he plans to join the NCAA’s University of Denver next season.

Rieger Lorenz Statistics

I Only Touch Greatness Podcast (with Bowden Singleton and Sam Huck)

Dubuque Fighting Saints Camp Profile

Videos

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