Blackhawks’ F Dylan Strome will be playing for Team Canada in the 2019 IIHF Men’s World Championship. This is a big milestone in Strome’s career and a great opportunity that only a few players receive.
At this time a year ago, Dylan Strome was struggling in Arizona. He was coming off a season in which he played in 21 NHL games with the Arizona Coyotes while compiling 9 points.
Fast forward to the present and Strome was just named to Team Canada’s 2019 IIHF World Championship roster.
What a difference one year and a trade can make.
Strome struggled out of the gates at the beginning of the season. Through the first 20 games, Strome put up just 6 points for the Coyotes.
As often happens, people started to talk. Analysts across the sport started questioning Strome’s lack of speed and whether it would hold him back at the NHL level. Others prematurely declared him a draft bust. VAVEL, TheSportster, SportsBreak, Yahoo Sports and Dobber Prospects all have articles that have at least posed the question.
Not to call anyone out, as there were far more than these outlets that also posed the question, but just as an example that it wasn’t exactly a rare opinion or topic around the industry.
That could be rough for a 21-year-old to hear, especially considering he was drafted 3rd overall in 2015. Players drafted before and after him were already experiencing significant NHL success. Some of these players include Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, Mitch Marner, Zach Werenski and reigning Calder Trophy winner, Mathew Barzal, to name just a few.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the big trade happened. Strome and Brendan Perlini were traded to the Blackhawks for Nick Schmaltz.
Following the big trade, Strome went off at a near point-per-game pace. His 51 points in 58 games with the Blackhawks was a .879 points-per-game average.
Being named to Canada’s World Championship team may not be the same as being named to Canada’s Olympic team; some players are still playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs or choose not to play so they can recover from the rigorous 82 game regular season schedule, but it’s still an honor not every Canadian ice hockey player has the privilege to experience.
What is the significance of Strome being named to the Canadian World Championship roster?
It’s vindication that Strome has turned his career around from a supposed draft bust to a respected NHL player.