During the offseason, it seemed like the Chicago Blackhawks were never going to sign Dylan Strome. Finally, at the 11th hour, Bowman moved and signed Strome to a two year, $6,000,000 contract. Seemed like a fairly friendly contract for the Blackhawks, especially in terms of length. Two years is low risk, especially with Chicago in the midst of a rebuild.
The table was set for Strome to stake his claim on a top-two line. Captain Jonathan Toews and rising superstar Kirby Dach are both on LTIR. A serious gap is waiting to be filled by someone. Is Dylan Strome taking advantage through the first 12 games?
Scoring- At this point in the young season, Strome has tallied a paltry seven points and has been held scoreless in six of the twelve contests. No one expects Strome to be a point per game scorer, but based on his time in the OHL and brief periods with the ‘Hawks, he should certainly be chipping in more than he is.
And honestly, the Blackhawks must expect more from him. Although only 23, he is a veteran among the other rookies and has spent a few years playing alongside Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat. His play definitely does not match the expectation.
The Chicago Blackhawks need to see more out of Dylan Strome for the team to take the next step.
Faceoffs- The second area where Strome must step up is at the faceoff dot. Toews is consistently the Blackhawks best and his absence here is obvious. In the first four games, Strome was fantastic at the dot winning 62% of his faceoffs. Since that time, however, Strome has dropped to a 46.7 win percentage.
This is not going to cut it for a team with key pieces missing. It’s hard to believe that this team will not suffer some scoring and defensive struggles over the course of a long season. Little things like faceoffs could have a huge impact in those close games.
Corsi- Finally, Strome needs to center scoring lines. He has the experience and chemistry with Alex DeBrincat, among others, and must put pressure on the opposing goalie. Right now that is not happening.
Strome’s Corsi rating is a measly 44.8%, and to make that worse, Strome started over 60% of the time in the offensive zone. Strome’s poor faceoff win percentage leads to a poor Corsi rating for him. Strome must improve both of these or he is going to find himself getting fourth-line minutes.
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It’s safe to say that no one expects Dylan Strome to be Jonathan Toews. However, there is an expectation for Dylan Strome to step up and be a solid second-line center. At this point, Strome is underachieving and not living up to his potential. Obviously, 12 games is a small sample size, but the Blackhawks must get more production from Strome now and in the future.