Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #3 Dylan Strome

Being a fan of your hometown team can be a bit of a thankless job at times, but sometimes your loyalty gets rewarded in spades. Such was the case with fans of the Erie Otters the last couple years, as they have been treated with being able to watch the development of both generational talent, Connor McDavid, but also the emergence of Dylan Strome, who’s set to become a franchise center for one lucky team. 

I’ll break down Strome’s draft year after the jump. 

Bio:

  • Age: 17.53 years old at start of season. Born March 7th, 1997
  • Birthplace: Mississauga, Ontario
  • Frame: 6’3, 185 lbs
  • Position: C
  • Draft Year Team: Erie Otters (OHL)
  • Accomplishments: 2015 CHL Top Prospects Game, 2015 CHL Top Scorer Award (129), 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Gold Medal, 2015 OHL Most Sportsmanlike Player, 2015 OHL Second All-Star Team

Stats:

GP ES G ES A1 ES A2 ES Pts ES Pts/GP ES GF% ES GF% Rel TmG% TmPts% AA Pts/GP EA Pts/GP Adj Pts/GP
68 31 34 14 79 1.16 69.0% +12.0% 13.8% 39.5% 1.70 2.04 1.82
  • TmG% = Percentage of team goals a player scored in that player’s games played
  • TmPts% = Percentage of team goals a player registered points on in that player’s games played
  • AA Pts/GP = Age adjusted points per game
  • EA Pts/GP = Era and league adjusted points per game
  • Adj Pts/GP = Age, era, and league adjusted points per game
PCS% 2014 PCS Pts/82 2014 PCS% 2015 PCS Pts/82 2015
21.3% 33.1 66.7% 57.9
PCS Most NHL GP PCS Highest Pts/GP
Trevor Linden Michel Goulet
Ryan Smyth Vincent Lecavalier
Owen Nolan Logan Couture

Scouts:

Draft rank:

NHL CSS ISS FutureConsiderations HockeyProspect Pronman McKeen’s McKenzie Button
4 (NA) 3 4 6 4 7 5 4

From Todd Cordell, HockeyProspect.com:

Dylan Strome is a smart two-way center who can do it all and play in any situation. He is an excellent playmaker but also possesses an above average shot, which makes him very tough to defend against; particularly on the man advantage when he has more time and space to work with. 
He’s not a dynamic neutral zone player, however, he has shown the ability to gain opposing blue lines with possession. His skating isn’t bad but he’s certainly not a burner. He would benefit from gaining some more explosiveness in his first three steps. He’s also not as physical as he could be given his size, however, he’s good at protecting the puck and using his big frame to shield it away from defenders.

From Curtis Joe, EliteProspects:

A competitive offensive dynamo in nature, Dylan Strome possesses the technical skills and the intangible traits that differentiate leaders from followers. He makes his own luck; no number that shows up beside his name on the score sheet is handed to him on a silver platter. He consistently showcases the size and speed to attack and break through the opposition defense, and always knows where his linemates are in relativity to his position. Possesses a hard, accurate release on his shot, which he is never afraid to use. All-in-all, Dylan Strome is a player who wants to win more than anybody else, a person who takes it upon himself to do everything he can to help his team win, and a leader who provides his team with the motivation and will that it takes to win.

From Craig Button, TSN:

Dylan won’t pull you out of your seat for what he does individually but will make you stand up and notice what he does to help the team be successful. Smart in every area of the game he is defined by substance not flash. An elite, complete centre necessary to winning.

Our Take:

I’m not going to spend a lot of time rehashing the scouting spiel on Strome, as he’s been one of the guys in this draft who have received no shortage of love. Other than his skating, which is good, but not great, he operates at an elite level in almost every aspect of the game. 

The main question I had was around the impact playing with a generational talent such as McDavid had on his results. Connor McDavid missed the period from November 14th to February 3rd due to injury, and in that 20 game span Strome continued to produce at a rate consistent with a top 5 draft pick (29 points in 20 games), but not nearly at the same rate he did during the period where he played with McDavid in the lineup (100 points in 48 games). This is best demonstrated by looking at his PPG by month throughout the season: 

strome ppg by month

So how should we think about his him as a standalone prospect, given that his overall numbers were impacted by playing with a generational talent, in Connor McDavid. The graph below shows his PCS% and PCS PPG number without McDavid as compared to his year overall: 

ppg wowy

So where does this leave us? Well, it come as no surprise that playing with a generational player had a positive impact on Strome’s overall production. However, when you look only at the period where McDavid was out of the lineup, you can see that Strome is a pretty special player in his own right. 

Looking at the scoring rate he demonstrated without McDavid, Strome’s PCS peers included some pretty impressive NHLers, such as Bobby Ryan, Trevor Linden, Vincent Lecavalier, Owen Nolan, Scott Hartnell, and Logan Couture. 

In a regular draft, there would be a lot of chatter about Strome as a potential first overall pick. Simply put, a 6’3 center, as well rounded as Strome, who produces at the rate he has is the type of cornerstone prospect you look to build your team around.