The Chicago Blackhawks need Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat to produce in order to have a chance to win regularly going forward.
For a very long time now, the Chicago Blackhawks have known that they were going to have Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews there to lead the way in multiple facets of the game. Well, in 2019-20 they were relying on Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat to carry the secondary scoring. Add Dominik Kubalik to the mix and you could have a playoff team if the previous four play the way that we know that they can.
Well, Toews and Kane had the years we were predicting they would have but Strome and DeBrincat did not. They had okay numbers but their 2018-19 numbers suggested that they would take over this team in the coming years. They both took a step back but it is fair to assume that they will get back to normal next season.
Strome had 12 goals and 26 assists for 38 points in 58 games for Chicago. Those are good but far below totals he put up a year ago after his trade to the Hawks from the Arizona Coyotes. DeBrincat had 18 goals and 27 assists for 45 points in 70 games which are also nice numbers but they pale in comparison to the 41 goals and 76 points he scored last season.
Nobody is giving up on either of these two as NHL players at all but we just know they can be better. Strome still needs a contract extension as he is on the verge of being a restricted free agent whenever they declare that period to begin. DeBrincat is signed for a while so he will be a Blackhawks sniper for a long time.
These two have had chemistry since day one of the Dylan Strome/Nick Schmaltz trade. That has a lot to do with the fact that they were linemates for a good portion of their junior career. The Erie Otters had these two and Connor McDavid running their lines for a while before they all graduated to the National Hockey League.
The Blackhawks are lucky to have these two as they enter their prime but they need more from them. It is a compliment to say that we expect more because it is a testament to their talents. They are both capable of putting up a fair amount of points and the Blackhawks are going to need it to lead their secondary scoring going forward. Hopefully, 2020-21 shows more of what they were in 2018-19 than 2019-20.