Based on the players the Blackhawks have available and those they added this summer, it appears Dylan Strome’s time with the Chicago Blackhawks may not be long.
Strome, 24, was the third overall pick by Arizona in the 2015 NHL Draft. The Blackhawks acquired him from the Coyotes with Brendan Perlini for Nick Schmaltz in 2018. When he arrived in Chicago and got on a line with his former junior teammate Alex DeBrincat, Strome blew up; he scored 17 times and added 34 assists in 58 games.
Strome struggled last year, scoring nine goals with eight assists in 40 games. But he’s still young, only has a $3 million cap hit and — perhaps most importantly — will be a restricted free agent after the 2021-22 season.
Which begs the question: where will Strome end up this season?
One good bet could be the Ottawa Senators.
Ottawa has three things that make a deal work: cap space, draft capital and a desperate need.
Need: when the Senators announced Colin White was going to miss a big part of the 2021-22 season yesterday because of shoulder surgery, that opened up an immediate hole at center for the Sens. Ottawa’s front office has been vocal about this being a year the team takes a step away from the top of the NHL Draft, so replacing White would figure to be something they look to do soon.
DJ Smith says in his morning media availability Colin White will need surgery to repair a dislocated shoulder.— Kyle Bukauskas (@SNkylebukauskas) October 7, 2021
Expected to be out 4-6 months. #Sens
Cap Space: according to CapFriendly, the Sens have a little more than $20 million in available cap space. That easily fits Strome’s $3 million cap hit.
Draft Capital: the Senators currently have 11 picks in the 2022 NHL Draft. Here’s what they have by round:
- First: Ottawa
- Second: Ottawa, Tampa
- Third: Ottawa, Vancouver, Boston
- Fifth: Ottawa
- Sixth: Ottawa
- Seventh: Ottawa, San Jose, New York Islanders
How about Strome for one of those third round picks? Sign me up!