This is a somewhat unexpected trade, with all the parties involved being former first-round picks. It’s strange in the sense that Strome is the player with the highest upside, yet he is on the 2 side of the 2-for-1 deal. So are the Coyotes giving up on the 21-year-old former third overall pick too early? If Strome pans out, this trade could turn out to be a home run for the Hawks.
In terms of right now, though, Schmaltz is the best player in the trade, as he currently has nearly double the amount of points than Strome and Perlini combined. Schmaltz is also due to become an RFA at season’s end, so there may have been some uncertainty on the Hawks’ end as to what type of offer they would make. Coyotes’ GM John Chayka’s rationale for making the deal also might be that Schmaltz has great puck possession ability.
Schmaltz should immediately have the opportunity to compete for a top-6 spot with the Coyotes. In spite of a 21-goal season last season, Schmaltz has issues with shooting the puck, averaging barely over a shot per game throughout his career. There isn’t a sniper on the Coyotes that jumps out as an instant fit, as the Coyotes are more of a balanced attack that sits near the bottom of the league in goals for. However, with the coaching change Schmaltz had been bumped off a line with Patrick Kane and had been skating on a line with Dominik Kahun and David Kampf.
The Hawks may have another reason for making the deal. Strome and Alex DeBrincat were junior teammates with the OHL’s Erie Otters (along with one Connor McDavid). So if this doesn’t kick-start Strome’s career, then there might not be anything else that will. Strome and DeBrincat were teammates for three seasons, each scoring 100 points during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. DeBrincat scored 127 points the following season, while Strome scored 75 points in just 35 games.
Psst…Strome has a pretty good history with Alex DeBrincat on his wing. Just a suggestion from us 😄 https://t.co/QLYQjJMUSB
— Erie Otters (@ErieOtters) November 26, 2018
With the recent coaching change, DeBrincat was moved off Jonathan Toews’ line and onto a line centered by Artem Anisimov. So why wouldn’t the Hawks at least try Strome with DeBrincat to recapture that magic?
Whether you believe Strome is the real deal or not, the one player who could eventually tip the scales in Chicago’s favor is Perlini. Maybe he has flown under the radar in Arizona, but he’s already scored 33 goals in 152 career games, which is very similar to Schmaltz (29 goals in 162 career games). Perlini had been seeing some time on the Coyotes’ top line with Clayton Keller and Derek Stepan, but it’s not as if he was taking advantage of the situation. So if nothing else, a change of scenery could be beneficial to Perlini (and Strome, for that matter).
Players this helps, in order:
Players this hurts, in order:
Anisimov (if DeBrincat/Strome sticks as an NHL unit)
Fantasy owners are discussing this trade in the Forum – give your take here!
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