Prospect Series - Dylan Strome, CAN
Dylan Strome is a 6'3", 190 pound center that currently plays second-fiddle to Connor McDavid on the Erie Otters. Through 21 games, Strome has 16 goals and 29 assists. While these stats may be helped by the stud McDavid, they do not always come on the same line as McDavid. Strome's brother Ryan is a top prospect and now player for the New York Islanders. He is coming off of a season where he had just 39 points in 60 games, so he has made a massive improvement in his game.
Courtesy of Bill Placzek at NHL Draft Site, Stome needs very little time and space to let quality chances fly off his stick. He does tend to hold the biscuit and try to one man the play when he could use his linemates. That may be because he has high confidence in his handling abilities, and his ability to put the eventually puck wherever he wants. If he keep his game simple he can be part of a dominating unit. He is great at finding a place for himself in the slot and get his stick on shots or his devastating wrist shot go. Has shown in junior all the attributes you look for in projecting a prospect to the pro game: Speed, power, vision, and high end hands that help him carve the attack zone piece by piece. Has a willingness to work the wall and his reach and speed win many 50/50 puck battles. The only negative might be that his defensive effort has been questioned and that it appears on many shifts, he can go unnoticed or just seems to be invisible. (In perspective, there are very few prospects whom this description doesn’t apply.)
Strome has many good times under his belt already. In the summer he trained with players such as John Tavares, Jason Spezza and P.K. Subban at the Athlete Training Centre in suburban Toronto. The bloodline of hockey already gives him an "in", so he will have a head start when he is ready for the NHL. Strome likes to model his game after another big center Joe Thornton.
While many have Strome in the 5-8 range for prospects in 2015, I believe he is the best forward not named McDavid or Eichel. I would not be surprised to see him drafted number 3 overall if he continues his strong season.
As an update to this article, Strome ended up leading the OHL in scoring with 129 points 68 games. While this was aided by McDavid, it was not completely because of McDavid. If Strome can improve his skating and intensity, he will easily bloom into one of the 5 best players in the draft. However, based on these current cons, I have Strome as the 5th ranked prospect in the draft.