Last night, the Blackhawks announced a trade via Twitter. They have traded forward Nick Schmaltz to the Arizona Coyotes for forwards Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini.

Stan Bowman was recently spotted in Arizona and now we know why. Schmaltz is playing on an expiring Entry Level Contract and was due for a pay increase following this season. He had been showing signs of improvement prior to this season, but he has now plateaued. Schmaltz always shies away from contact and refuses to take a hit to make a play. He never showed that killer instinct and was treated accordingly, with a trade.

Dylan Strome

The Arizona Coyotes drafted Dylan Strome with the 3rd overall pick in 2015. He has high upside but has not lived up to expectations thus far. Strome has been compared to Ryan Getzlaf.

It’s hard not to think of someone like Ryan Getzlaf when you watch Dylan Strome. His large frame, industrious work ethic, erratic shot, and powerful skating ability are all characteristics shared with the Anaheim Ducks captain. While it remains to see if he ever reaches such a level, Dylan Strome certainly has the potential to be a cornerstone-type player. (via eliteprospects.com)

Curtis Joe of eliteprospects.com also gave a more in-depth analysis of Dylan Strome. Here is what Joe had to say about Strome.

A competitive offensive dynamo in nature, Dylan Strome possesses the technical skills and the intangible traits that differentiate leaders from followers. He makes his own luck; no number that shows up beside his name on the score sheet is handed to him on a silver platter. He consistently showcases the size and speed to attack and break through the opposition defense, and always knows where his linemates are in relativity to his position. Possesses a hard, accurate release on his shot, which he is never afraid to use. All-in-all, Dylan Strome is a player who wants to win more than anybody else, a person who takes it upon himself to do everything he can to help his team win, and a leader who provides his team with the motivation and will that it takes to win.

Those are some lofty expectations that have been placed on a young player who has not had a great start to his NHL career. Now, I’m not saying that Strome can’t become this type of player, but he is not even close to being a Ryan Getzlaf-esque player right now. Here are Dylan Strome’s career stats and they’re almost nonexistent to this point.

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                                      Scor        Goal     Assi        Shot                                         Ice
Season    Age    Tm  Lg GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW EV PP SH  S   S% TSA  TOI  ATOI FOW FOL  FO% BLK HIT TK GV Awards
2016-17    19   ARI NHL  7 0 1   1  -5   0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  6  0.0  16   96 13:41  31  46 40.3   2   3  3         0
2017-18    20   ARI NHL 21 4 5   9   4   8  3  1  0  0  5  0  0 30 13.3  64  272 12:57  92 122 43.0  12   7 12         2
2018-19    21   ARI NHL 19 3 3   6  -9   6  0  3  0  1  2  1  0 37  8.1  64  256 13:29 131  94 58.2   8   2  7         3
Career        3 yrs NHL 47 7 9  16 -10  14  3  4  0  1  8  1  0 73  9.6 144  624 13:16 254 262 49.2  22  12 22         5

Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table

There is a really interesting fact about Dylan Strome and I think it might be part of the reason StanBo wanted to acquire him. Strome is a former teammate of Alex DeBrincat. They both played for the Erie Otters during the 2016-17 season. Maybe they can recreate some of that chemistry with the Blackhawks.

Here is a video of Strome and DeBrincat playing together with the Erie Otters. Current Rockford IceHogs defenseman, Darren Raddysh, makes an appearance in the video as well.

Brendan Perlini

Brendan Perlini is another underperforming 1st round pick. Perlini was selected 12th overall by the Arizona Coyotes in 2014. With Perlini, what you see is what you get. He is a big-bodied winger who can possibly turn into a 20 goal scorer. There’s not as much upside with Perlini as there is with Dylan Strome.

In my opinion, Perlini seems like basically a throw-in to add value to the deal right now, but time will tell. Here are his uninspiring career stats:

                                         Scor        Goal     Assi         Shot                                         Ice
Season    Age    Tm  Lg  GP  G  A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW EV PP SH   S   S% TSA  TOI  ATOI FOW FOL  FO% BLK HIT TK GV Awards
2016-17    20   ARI NHL  57 14  7  21  -4  20 11  3  0  2  5  2  0  92 15.2 176  846 14:50   1   1 50.0  15  42  8        13
2017-18    21   ARI NHL  74 17 13  30  -2  28 12  5  0  1  7  6  0 129 13.2 280 1074 14:31   5   6 45.5  34  83 16        22
2018-19    22   ARI NHL  21  2  4   6  -5   6  0  2  0  0  2  2  0  40  5.0  81  289 13:44   0   2  0.0   7  12  5         4
Career        3 yrs NHL 152 33 24  57 -11  54 23 10  0  3 14 10  0 261 12.6 537 2208 14:32   6   9 40.0  56 137 29        39

Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table

Brendan Perlini seems like a Brandon Saad type of player. He does his best work in front of the net and around it. Perlini can also flash the hands on assists every now and then as well. Here is a highlight video of what Perlini can possibly be if he ever finds his way with the Blackhawks.

Final Thoughts on the Nick Schmaltz Trade

There’s no doubt that Nick Schmaltz is a talented player. He just fell into some frustrating habits and tendencies with the Blackhawks. I think a change of scenery might do all of these players some good. If Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini can tap into their upside and dormant talent, then I think the Blackhawks may have won this trade.

However, it’s still far too early to give an accurate and appropriate verdict. Until I see a reason not to, I am all for giving the newest additions a fair shot, especially with the current state of the team.

Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that Nick Schmaltz is playing on an expiring Entry Level Contract right now. This played a HUGE role in him being traded away. He has underperformed this season after a decent sophomore season last year. Here are Schmaltz’s numbers to this date:

                                         Scor        Goal     Assi         Shot                                           Ice
Season    Age    Tm  Lg  GP  G  A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW EV PP SH   S   S% TSA  TOI  ATOI FOW FOL  FO% BLK HIT  TK GV  Awards
2016-17    20   CHI NHL  61  6 22  28  10   6  6  0  0  0 20  2  0  66  9.1 127  809 13:16  84 188 30.9  27  20  46 22 Byng-45
2017-18    21   CHI NHL  78 21 31  52   1  18 17  4  0  2 20  9  2 118 17.8 218 1422 18:14 321 480 40.1  39  13  86         31
2018-19    22   CHI NHL  23  2  9  11  -4   6  1  1  0  0  9  0  0  33  6.1  61  407 17:41  52  68 43.3   7   5  23         15
Career        3 yrs NHL 162 29 62  91   7  30 24  5  0  2 49 11  2 217 13.4 406 2638 16:17 457 736 38.3  73  38 155         68

Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table

Are these numbers worth dishing out a new long-term contract to? I don’t think so, especially not when there’s a nice free agent class potentially hitting the market following this season, such as Erik Karlsson, Artemi Panarin, Mikko Rantanen, Mitchell Marner, Matt Duchene, Brayden Point, Mark Stone, Zach Werenski, Sergei Bobrovsky, Jeff Skinner, Jake Gardiner, and etc.

The Nick Schmaltz trade indicates that the Blackhawks are edging closer to taking on the rebuilding mentality, even after John McDonough, StanBo, and Rocky Wirtz strongly emphasized that this Blackhawks team is a playoff team during the Jeremy Colliton introductory press conference as head coach.

This trade may be the first of many this season, so don’t get too comfortable with this current Blackhawks’ roster.

For more Blackhawks news and updates, follow the author @Certified_TonyG on Twitter.