by Scott King
Forwards Dylan Strome, 21 and Brendan Perlini, 22, were acquired by Chicago on Sunday in exchange for Nick Schmaltz. Both players will be making their Blackhawks debuts on Tuesday against the Vegas Golden Knights at the United Center.
Strome was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and had six points (three goals, three assists) with the Coyotes this season.
“We know he can make plays,” Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said of Strome. “We know he thinks the game at a high level. What I told both of those guys yesterday is what I want every night is the effort, the work ethic away from the puck, pressure on the puck, defensively, so that your line has the puck. And then those plays will be there.
“If you chase the puck around and you’re late all the time in your shift, you can never show how skilled you are because your line never has possession. That’s what you’re looking for.”
Hawks winger Alex DeBrincat is quite familiar with one of the new acquisitions. Strome was his center when both played for the OHL’s Erie Otters.
“He’s a really smart player,” DeBrincat said of his former linemate. “Has a lot of vision, can shoot the puck too. He’s definitely an all-around player. I think he can find the open areas to get a shot off and he creates his own space too. A really great player, a lot of vision, like I said. He can make some great plays.”
“I’m really excited,” Strome said of making his debut with the Hawks. “Looking forward to the game and just excited to get a new opportunity.”
Dylan knows that adjusting to a new team, let alone one trying to find itself under a new coach, can be difficult.
“Just going to play my game,” Strome said. “I talked to coach [Colliton] a little bit and he said he wants me to be comfortable. Obviously there’s going to be a little bit of an adjusting period, but just go out there and play hockey and do what you do and it’ll take care of itself.”
Last season, Perlini set career highs in goals (17) and assists (13) in 74 games with Arizona.
“He can fly,” Strome said of Perlini. “You’re going to see it tonight — he can really fly right up the middle. He’ll get the puck with speed and make something happen. He can really shoot the puck and when he combines that with his speed, it’s a pretty deadly combo.”
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