Three highly talented hockey players who have been unbelieveable at lower levels of the hockey circuit and can’t get it to convert to the NHL.
First there was Ryan. He was drafted 5th overall by the New York Islanders in 2011. At the time he was fresh off a 106 point season in the OHL for the Niagra IceDogs. The Islanders were ready to invest on the talented youth and give him time to develop, they knew time was necessary in a few areas of his game and let him settle in the OHL for another year. He would spend the next 2 years with the Ice Dogs netting above a 1.25pts per game each year (and finishing as the 6th highest scorer in 2012-2013). During the 2012-2013 season he was introduced to the AHL scoring 7 points in his first 10 games. 2013-2014 he spent most time in the AHL with 49 points in 37 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers before being sent up to the bigs. Later in this year his 37 games with the Islanders he scored 18 points, not too shabby for his rookie year. Having produced at every level there were high expectations going into 2014-2015 season as he would be entering his first full season in the NHL. He came out strong with 50 points in 81 games finishing as the 87th highest scorer alongside Wayne Simmonds. 2015-2016 season showed strong regression scoring just 28 points in 71 games and seeing some time in the AHL again. The next season was more of the same with just 30 points in 69 games including just 13 goals, late season the Islanders had seen enough and traded him to the Oilers for Jordan Eberle. He finds himself on the third line this year alongside Jujhar Khaira and Leon Draisatl. While he is coming in strong as a third liner, his 13 points in 32 games is far below expectations for what he has been able to produce at every level up until this part. I had high hopes for Ryan and his struggles this year have me wondering if he will be able to climb back to 40+ point production levels. Edmonton has a whole is struggling and to me this line is representative of their woes, Leon was handed a very generous offseason contract and this line on paper SHOULD be a 40-50 point producing line across the board and yet it’s not. His shot production has gone from 2 per game to barely 1 and things are not looking promising in the near future here. As much as the shots, his demeanor seems resigned to mediocrity on the ice which has me more concerned.
Dylan Strome was next and like his brother was highly touted, as the 3rd overall pick in the 2015 draft to the Arizona Coyotes, he had already demonstrated some strong play Internationally as a U-17 play (All-star nominee). He was drafted fresh off a 100+ point seasons in the OHL with the Erie Otters (most points in the OHL thanks partially to one Connor McDavid in 2014-2015 season), he had the hands clearly, he had some speed, he had size (6’3, 200lbs) and his family has a pedigree for success in hockey. He played the next year (2015-2016) with Erie putting up a second consecutive 100+ point season scoring 37 goals and adding 74 assists for 111pts in just 56 games (finishing 4th in the league just ahead of Matthew Tkachuk and just behind Kevin Labanc, Christian Dvorak and Mitchell Marner). In the playoffs he added to that with 21 points in 13 games (good enough for 6th best in the OHL). It seemed like he was ready for the bigs but not so. In 2016-2017 they gave Dylan a 7 game tryout and after registering just one assist they sent him down to the OHL again where he netted 75 points in 35 games during the regular season and went on to score 34 points in 22 playoff games with the Otters. Enter 2017-2018 season and they were determined to give him another chance. He has played in 10 games giving a commitment to his rookie year and while he’s scored just 1 goal across those 10 games, the eye test is starting to show an increased confidence boost that he lacked last year. With each game he’s seeing more ice time, confidence with the puck and read of the play. Not every hockey player is going to be a star out of the gates and I think with both Ryan and Dylan it takes time. Dylan I have more faith in this season, he will be solid, and increase his production with each game. Look for him to net 20+ points from January to the end of the year.
Matthew Strome is the third brother just two years younger than Dylan was drafted #106 in 2017 by the Philadelphia Flyers. He has two things in his favor and I think they are important. First, while he’s been good in the OHL he is scoring a point per game over the last two seasons (for a total of 95 points across 96 games) and second he was not a top 10 draftee. The ever important question is whether or not he will be talented enough to make the NHL but if he does, he will not shoulder the boulder of expectations that his brothers did. Coming out of the OHL as a top 10 scorer year in and out and then drafted as a top 5 talent comes with some lofty expectations and not just for one year but year in and out. Matthew’s expectations are certainly curbed in comparison to the other two which leaves him free to make his own way.
In a short summation, I hope Ryan finds his way but each slumping season sends him lower down the line combination chart and hurts him even more. I want to see him get some time with Connor to see if he can relive the success his brother found with him on the Erie Otters, I think they could be strong together given a few games to gem (but then again, Connor can make just about anyone seem good). That said, Leon as a center isn’t the worst case in the world for a skater. Dylan is on a struggling team but starting to find his touch and comfort in this new terrain. Right now they have him with Clayton Keller and that is about as good of a situation as Dylan can ask for. Christian Dvorak who was just ahead of him in OHL points sits on the second line alongside Max Domi and Anthony Duclair (both in their second year) as this team is completely stacked with young talent. As I mentioned, short term I’m bullish on Dylans capabilities and holding diminishing hope Ryan finds his way. Matthew might never find his way up but I think we could see him break through as a 4th liner in 2 years.
Which of the three Strome brothers will have the most successful NHL career?
Which Strome Brother will have the most Successful NHL Career?
This poll is closed