Why the Chicago Blackhawks Can Not Trade Dylan Strome

Dylan Strome #17, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Dylan Strome #17, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

Let’s be honest here, Dylan Strome‘s recent performance for the Chicago Blackhawks is not something anyone saw coming.

Previously considered a potential franchise-altering player, the third-overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft was met with reasonable expectations by the Arizona Coyotes: Be that first-line center that the team needed from a STACKED 2015 draft class.

This draft class included the likes of Mitch Marner, Mikko Rantanen, Timo Meier, Ivan Provorov, and Mathew Barzal. All of them are players who were selected after Strome.

As the named players (and more) became bonafide stars in the NHL, Dylan Strome has yet to make his mark. In the last few games with the Chicago Blackhawks, however, he looks to be on the rise.

With Jonathan Toews’ hockey future in question yet again, the Chicago Blackhawks have to look to the future by retaining Dylan Strome.

The Blackhawks are in a dilemma on the ice, where they look to be without a first-line center for the future. Kirby Dach was expected to be that guy for the team, but, as it looks right now, Dach is more of a second or third line center, not a franchise cornerstone.

Yes, he is only 21 years of age, but his game isn’t progressing the way it should be. His draft class is starting to come into their own with Jack Hughes and Trevor Zegras looking to be stars for their teams while Dach is playing catch up. I still think Dach was rushed into the NHL, but that is just my opinion.

The Blackhawks need to hold on to Dylan Strome and sign him to a new deal rather than trade him at the deadline. Playing with Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane has elevated his play, as everyone expected, and his four-point night vs the Detroit Red Wings really showed me, and even himself, what he is capable of.

In his last five games, he scored 4 goals and 4 assists. Eight points in five games is nothing to scoff at, and he added almost half of his season point total in a sixth of the games he played (8 points in 5 games, previously 12 points in 29 games).

If this was just a point streak, I wouldn’t be writing this article. Any player can become hot then hit a wall, but Strome’s play away from the puck has improved.

The issue with Strome was his lack of drive and competitiveness, along with his lack of speed and defense abilities. Now, he is playing with that competitive drive that the Blackhawks needed from him for the last three seasons.

His face-off percentage is an eye-catching 55.42% on the season, something that the Blackhawks desperately needed since Jonathan Toews went out. Who knew, placing a skilled guy on a line with other skilled guys like DeBrincat and Kane would equal success?

At 24 years of age, the Chicago Blackhawks need to retain Dylan Strome at the trade deadline and sign him to another deal. He has been on a tear as of late, and his play has become noticeably improved in almost every aspect.

More. The Chicago Blackhawks made a mistake letting Pius Suter go. light

As the Blackhawks need to look to the future regarding their forward group, Strome could be a valuable asset to their core moving forward.