Blackhawks trade for Strome and Perlini


Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brendan Perlini (11) makes a pass in front of Vegas Golden Knights left wing Daniel Carr (23) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)

By Roland Hacker

The Blackhawks executed a significant trade with the Arizona Coyotes Sunday, sending forward Nick Schmaltz to Arizona in exchange for center Dylan Strome and winger Brendan Perlini.

Schmaltz, Strome and Perlini are former first round draft picks, with Strome drafted third overall in the 2015 NHL entry draft.

Experts speculated the trade was made by both sides because each player was underperforming and could use a “change of scenery,” and Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman echoed as much.

“Sometimes those guys just need a change of scenery; that’s sort of the cliché thing,” Bowman said. “There’s a lot of truth to that. [I’m] really excited for what [Strome] brings to the table; his talent level is unquestioned. I think it’s just a matter of putting it all together.”

The trade is a gamble by both teams. If the gamble works out and all three players involved meet their potential, or close to it, the Blackhawks will come out on top. Arizona pulled the trigger on the trade anyway because Schmaltz appears to be a lower risk than the other two. That being said, Strome has the highest ceiling of the players in the trade.

Schmaltz had two goals as a part of his 11 points with the Blackhawks this season.

Strome and Perlini each had six points with the Coyotes in 20 and 21 games respectively. Strome has underperformed since being drafted third overall, putting up only 16 points in 48 NHL career games.

Strome made a good first impression with the Blackhawks, scoring a goal and picking up an assist in his first game Tuesday against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Strome skated between star wingers Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat. Strome and DeBrincat have experienced success playing together after playing on the same line in junior hockey for the Erie Otters. The duo ripped apart the Ontario Hockey League, scoring a combined 281 goals and 686 points in 410 games across four seasons.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Strome said of DeBrincat, according to a Nov. 26 ESPN article. “It’s nice to see him again [and to] see a familiar face around the rink. We had a lot of chemistry back in junior [hockey], a lot of good times. We’ll see what happens here, but obviously he can score. I know he’s fun to play with.”

Perlini was described by Shawn Reznik of in scouting reports during his draft year as being a fast skater with a nasty shot. Despite his slow start this season, Perlini scored 17 goals as part of a 30-point campaign last season with the Coyotes in his second career NHL season.

“He can fly,” Strome said of Perlini, according to Nov. 27 tweet for Mark Lazerus of The Athletic. “He’ll get the puck with speed and make something happen. He can really shoot the puck, and when he combines that with his speed, it’s a pretty deadly combo.”

The Blackhawks received two players for the price of one. Although receiving more players than you send out doesn’t always mean you got the better end of the trade, Bowman said part of the reason for the trade was giving the team more depth.

“We’re trying to improve,” Bowman said, according to a Nov. 26 Chicago Sun-Times article. “To put it simply, I think we’re trying to have our younger players take the next step and become impact players. At the same time, we’re trying to have our established players continue to be difference-makers. We’re a better team today than we were yesterday simply because we have more depth up front; we have more options.”