With the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline on the horizon, Dylan Strome's tenure with the Chicago Blackhawks could soon be coming to an end.
Dylan Strome has been coming up in trade rumors since the beginning of the season. The forward has struggled this season, registering 18 points in 33 games. Strome has been moved up and down the line up and has often watched games from the United Center press box.
Acquired by the Coyotes in November 2018, Strome had a quality 2018-2019 campaign with 51 points in 58 games, but has yet to repeat those stats. Strome is skilled in the faceoff circle, power play and provides playmaking opportunities, which was shown in his Erie Otters days while playing with Alex DeBrincat. Strome has been used primarily as a second and third line center in his brief NHL career, but with the center positions destined for Lukas Reichel and Kirby Dach, Strome could soon be on his way out.
Strome currently holds a $3.6 million cap space and his contract is set to expire at the end of the season. Having not been offered a new contract yet by the Blackhawks, he could be considered a trade asset for playoff contenders, but would likely attract interest from playoff wild card and rebuilding teams for a player swap or draft picks.
Here are three potential trade destinations for Dylan Strome.
1. New York Rangers
The New York Rangers are legitimate Stanley Cup contenders and currently are second in the Metropolitan division. The New York Rangers are a potential landing spot for Strome because his older brother Ryan Strome plays for the team. The New York Rangers have a deep prospect pool filled with players that have yet to meet their potential.
Some examples of young forwards that have struggled include Filip Chytil and 2019 2nd overall pick Kaapo Kakko. Alexis LaFreniere has also struggled, but is likely untouchable because it is only his second season with the team and he could benefit from some time in the AHL, as should a lot of forwards in the NHL as they have been rushed in their development process.
Kaapo Kakko was considered to possess similar scoring potential to Patrik Laine prior to the 2019 NHL draft based on his 22 goal 2018-2019 season performance in the Finnish Liiga, but two seasons have passed and only has 24 goals and 54 points in 154 games to his name. The winger could benefit from a change of scenery and with the Blackhawks needing help on the wing, Kakko could fit well on the second line and benefit some time to develop in the AHL.
The top six forward depth for the Rangers consists of former Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider and Ryan Strome. With Panarin, Zibanejad and Kreider providing most of the offense on the power play and 5 on 5, Strome could ease stress on the power play and balance out the workload amongst the top six forwards.
Trading Strome and a 3rd or 4th round pick to the Rangers could fetch a top prospect that the Blackhawks need to help stabilize the rebuild. It's a risk worth to take, while shedding some salary cap space.
2. Edmonton Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers are currently three points back in the wild card hunt behind the rival Calgary Flames and went on 2-11-2 run at one point. Oilers fan base cried for players to be traded and for head coach Dave Tippett to be fired. The current offensive talent on the Edmonton Oilers consists mostly of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, with Zach Hyman, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jesse Puljujarvi contributing.
McDavid desperately wants to compete in the playoffs and the Oilers are a desperate team with their fanbase always wanting to call the shots. Strome could fit in as a top six forward and could help balance out the workload for Draisaitl and McDavid on the powerplay. Strome currently has three power play goals and seven power play points this season.
The Hawks could easily catch a 3rd or 4th round draft pick in order to shed some salary cap space. If Strome were to replicate his 2018-2019 season after he was traded, he could prove to be a valuable trade asset for the Oilers.
3. Boston Bruins
As mentioned earlier, Strome could be the perfect candidate for a player swap. Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk has publicly requested a trade.
Strome and DeBrusk were drafted in 2015, with Strome going 3rd overall and DeBrusk going 14th overall. Strome and DeBrusk have almost similar contracts and both could use a new home. The Bruins need centers and the Blackhawks need wingers.
The Bruins have already lost 2011 Stanley Cup members Tuukka Rask and David Krejci and with the aging Patrice Bergeron, the Bruins need some young centers to help fill the gap should Bergeron retire or sign elsewhere after this season or if David Krejci somehow returns this season or next.
The Bruins are inching toward being a rebuilding team and don't have much to show besides Brad Marchand, Taylor Hall, Charlie McAvoy and Charlie Coyle. Their prospect pool is thin and their only upside currently is the gritty forward Trent Frederic. The Bruins currently hold the 2nd wild card spot in the Eastern Conference and this season will likely be the last they'll be legitimate contenders for a while.
The Bruins are currently 4th in league on the power play with a 26.5% and adding Strome, who is dominant in the faceoff circle, with 55.95% this season and on the power play, to the roster would help them tremendously in the playoff hunt.