If for some reason you are unaware of Malte Stromwall, that’s ok. Stromwall’s recent surge has only help kicked what was a rather Ford Pinto like AHL Chicago Wolves into a new gear by putting up NHL type numbers in his first season of American Hockey since 2016-2017. At the very least, his big time play of late has popped the clutch to jump start a sluggish offense for the Carolina Hurricane’s affiliate in the Windy City.
Unlike the infamous Pinto, Chicago does not have to worry about rear end collisions. The Wolves currently sit at 11-15-3 and are ranked sixth in the Western Conference’s Central division. Not many teams are behind them. They are 33 points out first place, and a wild card spot seems as unlikely as a Pinto driver catching a hot date. Malte Stromwall may be one of a couple bright spots on a team much fallen from the Calder Cup season a year ago.
Clocking in at 6’0 and 197lbs, the Swedish right-winger is playing only his second consecutive season of in the AHL, having spent the last four in Russia’s KHL. A prior brief stint in the ECHL and AHL was precluded with junior hockey in Sweden. Since joining the Wolves, he is the team leader in assists and power play goals. Stromwall also leads the team in penalty minutes.
What perhaps is most helpful to Chicago is Stomwall’s consistency in offensive production. Since steady point production is something Chicago has lacked over all, but is something Stromwall is completely capable of doing. Stromwall has been at or near the point a game numbers 4 times since starting his pro career with the Tri-City Americans in the WHL.
2012-13: 66 games, 66 points
2015-16: 49 games, 42 points
2018-19: 52 games, 57 points
2021-22: 38 games, 32 points
In Chicago, Stromwall has tacked up 23 points in 27 games. (7 goals, 16 assists). 14 of those 23 have come in Chicago’s last 10 games. Wolves fans have seen the team go 7-1-2 in those 10 games.
Stromwall’s only pointless night in the period was a 5-2 loss to Milwaukee.
So the old saying goes, “So goes Malte Stromwall, so goes the Chicago Wolves.” Stromwall has been the main source of the struggling Wolves’ offense all year in the absence of big names called to Carolina.
What the Carolina Hurricanes decide to do with him remains to be seen.
Carolina has the Swede currently on a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will pay Stromwall $750,000 at the NHL level and $150,000 at the American Hockey League (AHL) level with a $175,000 guarantee. With offense not a primary concern currently with the Canes it is very likely Stromwall will stay in the AHL to continue helping the Wolves work their way up from the bottom of the heap.