Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks: Three Reasons to Keep Dylan Strome

Dylan Strome #17, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Dylan Strome #17, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Dylan Strome is a player that divides this fanbase like no other. His talent and offensive ability is undeniable, but his defensive miscues maddens fans to no end.  You recently heard a few reasons to trade him, here, however, are three reasons why the Chicago Blackhawks should keep Strome around.

Reason 1: His value is the lowest its ever been.

Right now, trading Dylan Strome would be an adventure in trading an asset at his lowest value.  The Hawks can’t afford to be sending off players at their lowest value if they are truly trying to build a playoff contender in time for Kane and Toews to enjoy it.

This isn’t trading Dylan Strome right after he scored 51pts in 58 games, this is trading him after a down year in which Colliton’s coaching staff consistently set him up to fail and gave him the shortest leash of his career.

Reason 2: He’s really, really good on offense.

Despite Colliton’s insistence on making Strome play wing (despite a fine 46% FO this year), Strome is an incredible talent when it comes to his creativity in the OZone. He almost always finds himself in the top end of the Blackhawks forwards by primary assists and points per 60.

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This year his rates were lower, with .63 total assists per 60 and .38 primary (per naturalstattrick), putting him around the middle of the lineup instead of at the top end of it.  However, the previous two seasons had him at 1.64 and 1.8 assist/60 and 1.07 and 1.02 primaries per 60.  The offense is there, but he needs to play with guys who can put the puck on and in the net.  David Kampf and Ryan Carpenter are not those players.

Reason 3: What if Borgstrom (or any of Kurashev, Suter, or Reichel) doesn’t work out at C?

Borgstrom is interesting because he’s pretty clearly Dylan Strome 2.0; he’s got size, good offensive upside, silky mitts, and the big knock on his game is his skating ability.  Sound familiar? What happens if he isn’t cut to be an NHL centerman?

The Blackhawks suddenly go from the center ice position being a strong point with Toews, Dach, and Strome down the middle with the options of getting in Kurashev and Borgstrom in, to Toews and Dach and relying on Suter/Kurashev to win faceoffs an order of magnitude more than they’ve shown capable (both were around 41% at the dot).  Borgstrom is, after all, only 6 months younger than Strome. It’s entirely possible he’s not an improvement.  the Blackhawks should probably keep both players around to make sure they like one over the other.

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For these reasons and a few more, the Blackhawks should keep Strome around at least until the trade deadline. At that point, maybe his game starts coming back up to the mean, maybe the other players take those steps and Strome is truly expendable and regained his value.  The Blackhawks made a similar mistake with Saad last year in only getting Zadorov.

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