CHICAGO — Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini got right to work with the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.
Strome and Perlini made it to Chicago in time to join their new team for practice after they were acquired Sunday night in a trade with Arizona. The Blackhawks sent Nick Schmaltz to the Coyotes for Strome and Perlini in a swap of former first-round draft picks.
“Watching both Brendan and Dylan play, I think there’s a lot of attributes to their game that are going to translate well to how we want to play,” general manager Stan Bowman said.
Strome and Perlini could make their Chicago debuts when the Blackhawks host the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night.
The trade reunites Strome with Alex DeBrincat after they played together with the Erie Otters in the OHL for three seasons. Strome had 22 goals and 53 assists and DeBrincat finished with 65 goals and 62 assists during their final season together in 2016-17.
“He’s one of my best friends,” Stome said. “It’s nice to see him again, see a familiar face around the rink. We had a lot of chemistry back in junior, a lot of good times. We’ll see what happens here. But obviously he can score. I know he’s fun to play with.”
Strome was selected by Arizona with the No. 3 pick in the 2015 draft, ahead of budding stars Mitch Marner, Mikko Rantanen, Mathew Barzal and Thomas Chabot. DeBrincat had to wait to No. 39 overall before Chicago grabbed him in 2016.
But DeBrincat has flourished with the Blackhawks while Strome has put up more modest numbers. The 21-year-old Strome has just seven goals and nine assists in 48 career games, and the Blackhawks are hoping he can deliver on his considerable potential in Chicago.
“Obviously I want to be a little bit more productive. I don’t think it’s any surprise to anyone,” Strome said. “I want to put up numbers and help whatever team I’m on win, so I want to come here and help this team win. I’m a Chicago Blackhawk now and I’m proud and I’m ready to get to work.”
The 22-year-old Perlini has two goals and four assists in 22 games this season. He set career highs with 17 goals and 13 assists in 74 games last season.
“It’s a new fresh opportunity for me,” said Perlini, who was selected by Arizona with the No. 12 pick in the 2014 draft. “You can tell in practice, you know, great players, a lot of veteran guys who have done great things in the game. So for me to come in, I just want to learn off them and improve and get better every day.”
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The Associated Press