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Analysis

The Evolution of Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome

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WINDSOR, ON - MAY 26: Forward Dylan Strome #19 of the Erie Otters celebrates with teammate Alex DeBrincat #12 after a 6-3 win against the Saint John Sea Dogs on May 26, 2017 during the semifinal game of the Mastercard Memorial Cup at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ON - MAY 26: Forward Dylan Strome #19 of the Erie Otters celebrates with teammate Alex DeBrincat #12 after a 6-3 win against the Saint John Sea Dogs on May 26, 2017 during the semifinal game of the Mastercard Memorial Cup at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images) /
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Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome share a special connection. Even though they may have taken different paths to the Blackhawks, DeBrincat and Strome were destined to play together. The evolution of both players has brightened the Blackhawks’ future.

When you take a look at Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome, you just get a feeling. Something is different about these two players. They have had success in the past as teammates and fate has brought them together once again.

I’m a huge believer in the saying “Things happen for a reason.” Maybe, the Hockey Gods took pity on us and decided to bless us with the addition of two players who can lead the Blackhawks back to the promised land. Their past and present success would certainly support that notion.

In what was ultimately a disappointing 2018-19 season, both Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome were two huge bright spots. They give the Blackhawks and their fans something to be excited about.

Alex DeBrincat

Alex DeBrincat was selected 39th overall in the 2nd round of the 2016 NHL draft. He was always an extremely talented and natural goal scorer, but his size scared teams away.

The Blackhawks got lucky when every team in the league passed on DeBrincat and some teams even passed on him twice.Now, the entire league regrets their decision to not draft Alex DeBrincat.

When you look at his career resume, he was obviously a 1st round talent. DeBrincat posted an absolutely stellar junior hockey career. In 3 seasons with the Erie Otters of the OHL, he racked up a ridiculous 332 points (167G, 165A) in 191 games.

After joining the Blackhawks, Alex DeBrincat seized his opportunity and ran with it. He had a great rookie season in 2017-18, where he posted 52 points (28G, 24A) with a 6 ± rating in 82 games.

He followed up his impressive rookie campaign with a breakout 2018-19 season, in which he produced 76 points (41G, 35A) with a 0 ± rating in 82 games. It’s pretty clear that DeBrincat doesn’t believe in sophomore slumps or missing games.

Alex DeBrincat is currently on the last year of his 3-year entry-level contract and will be receiving a nice raise on his next contract.

In one of my recent articles, I explained why it would be wise to get an extension done ASAP in an effort to save some money in the long run. Another successful season will cause DeBrincat’s price to skyrocket.

Dylan Strome

Dylan Strome was drafted 3rd overall in the 2015 NHL Draft by the Arizona Coyotes. Upon being drafted, he was considered a potential Top 6 center after posting phenomenal stats in 4 seasons with the Erie Otters of the OHL. In 219 games with the Otters, Strome racked up 354 points (114G, 240A).

That potential was never tapped into while Dylan Strome was a member of the Coyotes organization. To be honest, he never stood a chance in Arizona.

A combination of mismanagement, weak team, and a bad front office contributed to a couple of really bad seasons. Strome only played 48 games in 3 seasons with the Coyotes and didn’t have much to show for it.

A change of scenery was inevitable and that’s exactly what happened during the 2018-19 season. Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini were shipped to Chicago in exchange for Nick Schmaltz.

After joining the Blackhawks and his former teammate and roommate, Alex DeBrincat, Strome’s dormant potential was reawoken. In 58 games with the Blackhawks this season, Dylan Strome posted 51 points (17G, 34A) with a 2 ± rating.

Strome is currently in the final year of his 3-year entry level contract. It’s pretty obvious that both Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome are worth giving extensions to. He will likely command less money than DeBrincat, especially if StanBo & Co. opt to get an early extension done this offseason.

They can use his lack of production in the NHL against him — for now. Might as well take advantage while you can, since Strome won’t be this much of a bargain forever.

Final Thoughts

More from Blackhawk Up

I believe in the Blackhawks. I believe in Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome. I also believe that the Blackhawks will be back next season with new firepower via the 2019 NHL Draft and Free Agency.

The Blackhawks are on the right track. An infusion of young talent this offseason will rejuvenate this team. It’s just a matter of time before StanBo & Co. extend the two newest pieces of the Blackhawks’ core, Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome.

The Blackhawks truly are in good hands when they have DeBrincat and Strome for the foreseeable future. Their chemistry and success are undeniable. When you combine that with a motivated Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, after their career best seasons were wasted during 2018-19, you have a recipe for success.

Welcome to the Blackhawks’ 2019-20 revenge tour.

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