Dylan Strome Proving To Be a Steal for Chicago Blackhawks

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NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 14: Dylan Strome #17 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 14, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Blackhawks 8-5. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Chicago Blackhawks were looking to boost their offence with the acquisition of forward Dylan Strome. Back in November, the Blackhawks acquired Dylan Strome and forward Brendan Perlini from the Arizona Coyotes for centre Nick Schmaltz. So far this trade has proven to be a steal for the Blackhawks. Strome has become nearly a point-per-game producer in Chicago.

Dylan Strome Thriving in Chicago

The Coyotes originally drafted Strome with the third overall pick of the 2015 NHL Draft. One would expect big things from a player drafted so highly but the result was a massive disappointment for the Coyotes. Strome, a 21-years-old center, played 48 games with the Coyotes and collected just seven goals and nine assists for 16 points throughout parts of three seasons spent in the desert.

The Coyotes sensed they needed a change and they turned to the trade option. Last November, they sent Strome to Chicago alongside Perlini and received Nick Schmaltz. Schmaltz wasn’t producing in Chicago. After having 52 points in 78 games last season, the 22-year-old centre collected just two goals and 11 points in 23 games with the Blackhawks prior to the trade. Both clubs were seeking a change of scenery for their young talents.

Schmaltz got off the schneid quickly, tallying 14 points in his first 17 games in Arizona. Unfortunately, his season ended prematurely and he is out for the rest of the year with a lower-body injury. No one is trying to say that Chicago got a clear upper-hand in this trade because Schmaltz is currently out. He is still very young and has a lot of potential as a former first-round pick.

Dylan Strome: The Real Deal in Chicago?

As mentioned above, the third overall draft pick brings a team a lot of hope and it wasn’t working out in Arizona. Notwithstanding, in Chicago, it has been a different kind of story. After the trade, Strome has put up 11 goals and 19 assists for 30 points in 32 games. The third overall draft pick and a point-per-game producer? Sounds familiar. And it proves to be that way for the Blackhawks.

In his debut game for the Blackhawks, Strome scored a goal and added an assist. Just for comparison, in his 20 games with the Coyotes, he recorded just six points. It wasn’t ideal from the start, Strome had only six points in his first 14 games with Chicago. Since Christmas, Strome has been left point-less in just seven outings out of 18 games.

Last night, when the Blackhawks faced the Detroit Red Wings, Dylan Strome helped his team to celebrate a win with a three-point performance. The young centre has put up 16 points in his last nine games. Strome has settled nicely on the second line for the Blackhawks centring Alex DeBrincat and Dominik Kahun. As for Chicago, it has been a blessing that they are getting secondary scoring. Previously they were overly dependent on Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews to provide all the offence.

The Blackhawks are red-hot as of late, against the Red Wings they won their seventh straight game. It should not be a coincidence that Strome has been playing his best hockey in his young career over that stretch too. Now Chicago is just four points away from the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Dylan Strome Might be Star Player Chicago Sought

If Strome can continue this level of production, he could become a core piece in the Blackhawks rebuild. Just taking his time in Chicago, he would be on pace for 75 points in an 82-game season. It has been tough for the Hawks to insert young talent over the past few years. During their cup runs, they gave up high draft picks and top prospects in order to get talent that would put them over the hump. In Strome, they may have acquired the type of young star player that the team was lacking. Buying low on a former third overall pick could turn out to be a real steal for the Hawks.

The most important thing is that Strome is still young. Strome has built nice chemistry with Alex DeBrincat, another young player the franchise is counting on. DeBrincat has 53 points in 56 games with Chicago this year. The problem for the Blackhawks was to find another young star. Strome may be just what they were hoping for.

Even though Strome is enjoying a healthy amount of power-play time, 12 of his 30 points with the Blackhawks came on the man-advantage. It´s not solely about the power play. Strome has improved his overall play and is more effective. In his 20 games with the Coyotes, Strome had 68 total shot attempts and scored just three goals. In his 32 games with Chicago, Strome has 90 total shot attempts and scored 11 goals.

The change of scenery definitely helped Strome move forward in his young career. That trade from Arizona was necessary for all three parts. The Coyotes couldn´t continue to look further at their failed draft choice from 2015, the Blackhawks sought a young, thrilling player and Dylan Strome tried to prove he was not a failed draft choice.

 

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