Chicago Blackhawks: Regular Season Review – Dylan Strome
By Dylan Terry
Fresh off of an impressive debut season with the Blackhawks, Dylan Strome had a lot to prove and battle through during the 2019-20 season.
When the Chicago Blackhawks made the move to acquire Dylan Strome last year from the Arizona Coyotes, it turned a lot of heads in the hockey world. Strome hadn’t quite yet lived up to the hype he had received after being selected 3rd overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Why would Chicago give up a promising young gun like Nick Schmaltz in exchange for only Brendan Perlini and an unproven Strome?
Now after his first full season as a Hawk, Strome has certainly found his stride in the NHL. After Chicago acquired Strome on November 25, 2018, he went on a tear the rest of the season, as he finished the 2018-19 campaign with a whopping 51 points in only 58 games played with the Blackhawks.
Strome came out of the gates extremely hot to begin the 2019-20 season. After tallying 5 goals and 12 assists (17 points) during the first 23 games of the season, he looked to be on pace to increase his production from his debut season with the Blackhawks. Suddenly, the season took a dramatic turn.
After a November 23rd match-up against the Dallas Stars, Strome sustained an injury that wasn’t apparent at the time, however, he was placed in concussion protocol the very next day. The concussion was the first of his young career and sidelined him until December 5th.
Once Strome returned to the lineup, he still was producing at a rate that would exceed his 2018-19 point total. He ripped off a string of 13 points in 17 games played through December and the first part of January, until another bump in the road occurred during a game against the Calgary Flames on January 7th. Strome ended up obtaining an ankle injury in the 2-1 loss.
This injury proved to be the low point of the season, as he was inactive for almost a month before he returned to play. After Strome made his return to the lineup, he struggled. Over the final 18 games of the season, he only generated 2 goals and 6 assists for 8 points before the season was shortened due to COVID-19. He finished the season with 12 goals and 26 assists for a total of 38 points in 58 games played.
Strome will be back to 100% health in time for the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, due to the timing of the current pandemic. With the break in the action, it will be interesting to see if he can elevate his level of play to the level it was at prior to the ankle injury.
All in all, even though this season proved to be a challenge, Strome continued to show his toughness and relentlessness to overcome the injury issues, while still producing solid numbers. He also has worked hard to continue improving his skating ability, which has been a weakness of his in the past.
The good news is that he is still only 23 years old, and still has his former Erie Otters teammate and best friend Alex DeBrincat by his side. The duo has almost been inseparable since Dylan arrived in Chicago. The future looks very bright for Strome, as he will be a threat to watch for the Blackhawks for many years to come.