Coyotes trade Dylan Strome, Brendan Perlini to Chicago for Nick Schmaltz

Nov 25, 2018, 9:15 PM | Updated: Nov 30, 2018, 1:29 pm
Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) and center Nick Schmaltz, right, celebrate after Sc...
Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) and center Nick Schmaltz, right, celebrate after Schmaltz scored a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period of an NHL hockey game on Sunday Oct. 21, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
(AP Photo/Matt Marton)

The Arizona Coyotes parted ways with two former first-round picks on Sunday by trading forwards Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for another former first-round pick, center Nick Schmaltz.

Schmaltz, a center, was a first-round (20th overall) pick by the Blackhawks in 2014 and scored 21 goals last season. The third-year pro, 22, is an alumnus of North Dakota.

“Nick is a dynamic forward with top line potential,” general manager John Chayka said in a statement. “We feel he can be a core player of our team now and into the future. He’s a good complement to our evolving forward group and a rare combination of speed, skill and creativity.”

The move came following two consecutive blowout losses and a 10-game stretch in which the Coyotes went 2-6-2.

According to CapFriendly, Schmaltz is playing on the final year of his entry-level deal, which is paying him $925,000 per year. Strome and Perlini are each making $863,000 per year on their entry-level deals, and Perlini is on the final year of his deal while Strome has this year and next year.

Because the Coyotes dealt two players for one, the team now has an open spot on its NHL roster. To fill it, Arizona will recall forward Mario Kempe from the Tucson Roadrunners, according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro.

Part of the draw in adding Schmaltz is that it bolsters the center position while Christian Dvorak (upper-body) is out indefinitely. He joins a group that also includes Derek Stepan, Alex Galchenyuk and Brad Richardson.

Strome, 21, was the Coyotes’ third overall pick in the 2015 draft, chosen after NHL stars Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. He has appeared in just 47 NHL games in his career, scoring seven goals, four on the power play. He made the roster out of training camp this season after a big AHL season in 2017-18, and was particularly skillful in the faceoff circle with a 58.8 winning percentage.

He has three goals this season.

Perlini, meanwhile, was also a first-round pick, going 12th overall in 2014. He had 14 and 17 goals in his rookie and sophomore seasons, respectively, and two goals with four assists this season.

It isn’t nearly the first time Chayka and Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman have made trades with one another. Since June of 2017, the Coyotes have made three separate trades with the Blackhawks to acquire Niklas Hjalmarsson, Richard Panik, Jordan Oesterle and Vinnie Hinostroza.

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