Coming into the 2020-21 season, the Chicago Blackhawks were counting on Dylan Strome to provide value up the middle at his center position. Although the NHL calendar is in its first stage, Strome has done what the organization has needed.
According to Puckbase, Dylan Strome ranks seventh in face-off percentage when accounting for players who have taken 60 or more draws. The former third overall pick’s best season at the dot came in the 2018-19 campaign when he won 48.4% of his 897 face-offs between the Arizona Coyotes and Blackhawks. So far in 2021, Strome has won 38 of 62 draws, good for 61.3%.
Despite the Blackhawks going winless so far this season, Strome’s uptick at the dot is of utmost importance considering the absences of Jonathan Toews and Kirby Dach. It creates some stability up the middle and has given the Canadian-born center time on the team’s top lines. The 23-year-old has the most face-off chances on the team right now, with the second-most going to Lucas Wallmark, who has won just 39.2% of his 51 tries.
While Strome’s high percentage will likely dip as the season progresses, it’s worth noting that Toews tallied a 59.91% clip at the dot in the shortened 2013 Stanley Cup-winning season, which ranks 20th all-time in the NHL’s history. The highest percentage across one season came from Yanic Perreault when he collected 62.77% of his 806 draws for both the Phoenix Coyotes and Toronto Maple Leafs. Strome likely won’t perform at those levels, but getting over the 50% mark — which he has yet to eclipse in his career — would be a nice stride forward in his game.
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