Things have not gone well for Dylan Strome in Chicago this season.
Strome, 24, has played in just one of the team’s five games thus far, going without a point and already taking one penalty. It’s safe to say that the Chicago Blackhawks don’t see him in their future, and he may even be down to as low as 14th on the team’s depth charts.
Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times has reported that the Anaheim Ducks have long had an interest in Strome, saying that the team sees him as a young playmaker who could help aid the rebuild around Trevor Zegras and Mason McTavish. He also lists the Ottawa Senators, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers as potential options.
So, let's look and see if Strome really would be a fit for the Ducks:
Strome can play on the left wing or down the middle. I assume that the Ducks would prefer him on the wing, which would put him in competition with Max Comtois, Sonny Milano, Sam Steel, Nicolas Deslauriers and Mason McTavish.
Comtois and likely McTavish are better than Strome, but after that, he seems like the best option of the remaining pieces. I think Strome could play well on a line with Zegras and Rickard Rakell, as it’s a high-skill line with the potential to explode offensively with the right player. Strome’s offensive vision and passing IQ could potentially lead to higher production from Zegras.
If the Ducks decide that they want him at center, he’d likely slot in on the third-line spot with McTavish and Jakob Silfverberg. That would push Isac Lundestrom down the line up and I’m not sure how fond Dallas Eakins would be of that idea.
Now in terms of value, it’s unclear what the Blackhawks are even looking for in return for Strome. They’ve made it clear that they don’t value him much, so why would other teams give up a premium for him? I would predict potentially a third-round pick and prospect, if that.
Despite his recent struggles, I think Strome is a player you must look at if you’re the Ducks. They’re not ready to compete at an elite level yet, despite their early showings this season. Trades for low-risk, high-reward players like Strome can help accelerate the rebuild, or at the very least provide depth options throughout the line up until they’re ready to compete.
Strome is a former third-overall pick, drafted by the Arizona Coyotes in 2015. He’s shown flashes of scoring skill, having dominated the AHL during the 2017-18 season with 22 goals and 53 points through 50 games with the Tuscon Roadrunners. Even at the NHL level, Strome has had his moments, as he produced 17 goals and 51 points through 58 games played with the Blackhawks in 2018-19. The main issue with him is his skating, as that has always notched him down a level. With his skill set, there are always ways to make it work.
We’ll see what happens with this situation, as it looks like a divorce between Strome and the Blackhawks will happen sooner rather than later.