Blackhawks Trade Schmaltz to Coyotes for Strome, Perlini

The Chicago Blackhawks have traded Nick Schmaltz to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini, the Blackhawks announced Sunday.

Strome was taken with the third overall pick in 2015, drafted behind only Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. While McDavid, Strome’s teammate from the Erie Otters in the OHL has proven to be a superstar at the NHL level, Strome has failed to make quite the same impact. McDavid is widely considered to be the best hockey player on the planet while Strome has only played in 48 games of NHL action thus far.

Dylan Strome, Arizona Coyotes
Dylan Strome. (Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)

Proving to be an exciting center prospect who had no issue burying the puck or setting up his teammates with assists in the OHL and even finding success in the AHL with the Tucson Roadrunners last season, Strome has only scored seven goals and 16 points in the NHL thus far.

In 20 games this season, he’s scored three goals and six points and has seen time on the Coyotes fourth line behind Derek Stepan, Alex Glachenyuk and Brad Richardson on the team’s depth chart.

Strome was also teammates with Blackhawks’ forward Alex DeBrincat with the Otters.

Perlini was also a first-round, though he was selected 12th overall in 20114 and has played with the Coyotes for each of the last three seasons. The 22-year-old winger has scored 33 goals and 57 points in 153 games in his career, including a career-high 17 goals and 30 points in 74 games last season. He only has two goals and six points so far this season, however, and a change of scenery could do him and everybody else involved some good as they look to jump-start their seasons.

Nick Schmaltz Chicago Blackhawks
Nick Schmaltz, Chicago Blackhawks, Nov. 9, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Schmaltz, a center like Strome, has proven to be a good NHL player after a very impressive showing at the University of North Dakota from 2014 until 2016. Taken in the first round in 2014, the 22-year-old Schmaltz scored six goals and 28 points in 61 games. He would really break out in his second season, however, when he scored 21 goals and 52 points in 78 games with the Blackhawks, earning himself a spot in the team’s top-six consistently.

Blackhawks and Coyotes Heading in Similar Direction

With the Blackhawks struggling last season and continuing to have troubles early on in the 2018-19 season, the team is undoubtedly looking to change things up. Schmaltz only has two goals and 11 points in 23 games this season and while he has a very high ceiling as a player, something simply had to give. The Blackhawks flipping him in a trade to acquire the third overall pick from 2015 and the 12th overall pick from 2014 is simply good value for a team trying to turn things around.

As for the Coyotes, the situation is very similar. The team has struggled to make up any ground in the Pacific Division and sits second from the bottom ahead of only the Los Angeles Kings. The Coyotes, unlike the Blackhawks, however, have not had any real success in the NHL in recent years (or in the history of the franchise) and are looking to finally take the next step.

Brendan Perlini, Coyotes
Brendan Perlini (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

While hopes were high for Strome and Perlini to help start the charge, Schmaltz is more established and should help contribute sooner than later.