The Blackhawks open the 2021-22 season tomorrow night as they travel to take on the Colorado Avalanche. With rosters finalized for opening night yesterday, and corresponding moves made today, we know who the Blackhawks are taking with them to Colorado for the start of the season. One play on the list headed to Colorado is Dylan Strome, but how much longer will he be with the Blackhawks?
According to multiple reports from Elliotte Friedman and Frank Seravalli over the past 24 hours, the Blackhawks are listening to potential offers for Strome.
— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) October 12, 2021
On the latest ’32 Thoughts’ podcast, Friedman mentions that there may be potential for a Strome deal out of Chicago, while Seravalli mentions in his latest for Daily Faceoff, that the club is reportedly listening to offers.
— DailyFaceoff.com Hockey (@DFOHockey) October 12, 2021
On Tuesday, the Blackhawks held their final practice of “training camp” and Strome was not a locked-in member of the lineup, rotating into the lines along with Adam Gaudette.
Blackhawks lines and pairings
(Strome and Gaudette rotating in)
(Gustafsson-Regula fourth pairing)
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) October 12, 2021
After being the third-overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft behind Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, Strome’s career has not panned-out in the same way as those two picks ahead of him. A slow start with the Arizona Coyotes organization saw him bounce between the AHL and NHL in his first few seasons before a trade to the Blackhawks ignited his career.
During the 2018-19 season, Strome skated in 58 games with Chicago and tallied 51 points after playing in 20 games with the Coyotes and racking-up just six points. After his breakout season, Strome was looking like the future No. 2 center behind Jonathan Toews and maybe even a centerman who could become the No. 1 in Chicago down the road. But following his 2018-19 campaign, Strome has yet to replicate that same play in Chicago. He played in 58 games during the shortened 2019-20 season, tallying 38 points with three points in the postseason, and then in 40 games last season, Strome recorded nine goals and 17 points.
Heading into this season, the final year for Strome on his current deal with the Blackhawks at $3M, he had to fight through training camp to earn his spot on the roster. A spot that not very long ago was guaranteed. The 24-year-old is far from past his prime in the NHL, and after a season last year that saw him miss significant time due to injury and the birth of his first child, there is a sense that this season could provide a refresher for Strome with the Blackhawks. But they don’t have the time to wait for him to come around.
With the moves made this offseason, specifically the additions made to the forwards group, Strome is no longer guaranteed anything in Chicago. If he is not in the lineup right away, there may be merit to moving on from him and freeing up space for another young forward to make an impact at the NHL level for the Blackhawks.