Chicago Blackhawks: Analyzing the Nick Schmaltz Trade

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks have traded former first-round pick Nick Schmaltz to the Arizona Coyotes for forwards Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini.

The Arizona Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks have hooked up on yet another trade. This time they exchange former first-round draft picks who have both struggled to find their way with their former teams.

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The Blackhawks have sent Nick Schmaltz, a talented but frustrating forward, to the Coyotes. It was a surprising move given that not six months ago Schmaltz was viewed as the number one center of the future.

However, a slow start combined with Schmaltz not improving on his known weaknesses has caused him to fall out of favor with the organization. Schmaltz has just 2 goals and 9 assists in the first 23 games of the season.

Those stats combined with his 43.3 face-off percentage and his lack of physicality have really given the organization pause. There have been multiple instances where Schmaltz has given up the puck because he did not want to take a hit, and that type of play is not playoff hockey.

In return for Schmaltz, the Blackhawks received forwards Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini. The most notable of these 2 is obviously Dylan Strome. The former no. 3 overall pick previously played with Alex Debrincat for the Eerie Otters.

Strome’s sample size in the NHL is very small, but what initially sticks out is he has great hands and is great at face-offs. Strome hasn’t really been given a full chance in Arizona given that he has played less than 50 games in three years.

The Blackhawks figure to give Strome an immediate spot in the top six, possibly playing with his old buddy Debrincat. I could see him fitting in very well on the second line with Patrick Kane on his other wing. If Strome can take advantage of this opportunity this could be a huge win for the Blackhawks, afterall he was drafted number 3 overall for a reason.

The other piece that the Blackhawks received was Brendan Perlini, a former number 12 overall pick. Perlini is a 6’3″ 211 lb left wing. He is a smooth skater but also brings a physical side to his game that the Blackhawks are sorely missing.

Perlini is primarily a third line forward for a good team, but has the upside to possibly play top 6 as well. Perlini has 2 goals and 4 assists through 22 games this year, while mostly playing bottom 6 minutes. Perlini figures to play top 9 minutes in Chicago.

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If Perlini can help stabilize the third line while also adding some scoring punch, then the Blackhawks can really come out on top with this trade. One thing is for sure, a change of scenery should do all three players in this trade a lot of good.