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Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Where to play Strome?

As I see it, there are three natural spots in the batting order for Ryan Strome:

  • RW on McDavid’s line, also taking RH faceoffs on the feature line.
  • C on a soft minutes line, possibly with Jussi Jokinen and Jesse Puljujarvi.
  • RW on a second line with Nugent-Hopkins, also taking RH faceoffs.

I don’t think Leon and Strome spend a lot of time together (my assumption is Strome mirrors Draisaitl) but that’s another possibility. Strome is not strong on faceoffs (44.2 percent career) but might be able to help with FO wins since he is a righty.

The bigger part of the picture is possession and offense. Strome had a strong first full NHL season (50 points) but has posted pedestrian totals in the two seasons since. It’s important to get to the bottom of this now, because a season playing RW beside Connor McDavid and or on the Oilers 1PP is going to skew our view.

STROME’S ISLANDERS CAREER

Strome spent most of his time 5×5 last season with Brock Nelson and rookie Anthony Beauvillier, best described as middle six forward level on the Islanders. I’ll bet Strome gets a superior set of linemates for the coming season, and a spike from 1.58/60 5×5 scoring is likely no matter where he plays. An increase in his shots-per-60 would benefit Strome, imagine that will happen no matter where he slots in the lineup.

PUCK IQ OFFERS A CURIOUS RESULT

This is Ryan Strome run through PuckIQ‘s brilliant ‘binning’ of elites, middle, and gritensity. What you want to see is a strong showing in the middle and gritensity areas of the equation. Strome’s numbers against elites are predictable, no one trades a player making $2.5 million who is pounding elite opposition senseless.

Puck IQ says (above) that Ryan Strome dominated no level of opposition last season. He sawed off the soft parade, was underwater against the middle and got caved against the elite players in the NHL.

One of these numbers is a terrible surprise. We wait.

  • Cowboy Bill

    Strome will most like be used wherever he fits best . That will take some time to ascertain . Therefore he will be blended around until he finds a landing spot and I suspect that will be with Nuge & Lucic . More than likely it will rely on where Leon is slotted . But then depending on how Nuge looks on the wing they could mirror Nuge with Leon as well . I believe the top six will consist of( Maroon , Mcdavid , Draisaitl , Lucic , Nuge & Strome ) The four centers can move around as they please . Heck we may even see Jokein & Letestu on occasion in the mix too .

  • Shadesof97

    Break him into the system using McDavid/Drai/RNH as centers as he gets used to the changes, but he should spend atleast 50 games as the 3C, as I assume thats why we got him. We cant pay RNH 6M to play 3C next year

  • RyanCoke

    The more I think about it the more I see a weaker team this year. Only way we improve is if our youth gets better. It could happen for sure but at the same time we were one of the healthiest teams in the nhl last year. I think we make the playoffs again regardless but just hope we stay healthy and our youth improves to make a strong playoff push

    • TruthHurts98

      I don’t think A) PC is done for the summer. (He said outright he was working on a couple of trade options. B) Connor will be even better and so will Leon. I think Looch will have a bounce back year on the stat sheet and yes some young players will step up and some won’t. Talbot will be solid if not better.
      C) Now that PC has brought in guys who can physically wear down opposing D by lay crushing hits and fighting when need be, the Oilers aren’t getting pushed around. (Except against the Ducks sigh). But that physical element plays a part in being healthier along with some luck. Sekera might only miss 20 games so they might be even better this year. I think they will be!

      • FISTO Siltanen

        The Ducks will be a tough team to beat until the NHL cracks down and stops letting them dress a 7th and 8th player wearing black and white stripes with orange arm bands.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    i don’t see a weaker team at all. Oiler fans have been conditioned with bad teams into thinking we need to make big changes every year to improve but i can’t blame Chia for keeping the majority of this team together and making very few changes and going with the guys that got you there last year. for the first time in forever, we don’t need to make major changes because we are finally winning. it’s not what we are used to but it’s refreshing isn’t it?

  • FanBoy

    Maroon/McDavid/Strome
    Lucic/Draisaitl/Slepyshev
    Jokinen/RNH/Puljujarvi
    Caggiula/Letestu/Kassian
    Khaira/Pakarinen

    Switch RNH and Strome for different situations.

    • FISTO Siltanen

      I like this but look at this line-up and see so many in-game possibilities for guys to be moved up and around creating a completely different complexion to the team.

  • JimmyV1965

    If RNH is playing against the elites, I think it would be a huge mistake to put Puljujarvi on that line. Msybe he should be paired with Strome and Jokinnen on soft minutes line.

  • madjam

    Off of last years performance I see Strome as a third line player preferably at center , moreso even on a better club being the Oilers . Being on top two lines might be a stretch . Although he brings more speed , size , sticking up for teammates and truculence than Eberle , he does not appear to have the abilities of Eberle to score and be more productive at this stage of his career . Thus starting on 3rd line would seem the place to start his career here . Perhaps like Lowetide feels , he might be best to start with another player or two starting to resurrect their careers in Jokinen and Puljujarvi . Strome adds to the impressive speed, size and truculence of the team with some offensive ability but not likely high .

  • Rama Lama

    It’s always amazes me that the notion of putting a player in an unnatural position……..and then expecting positive results is what we call wee-Todd-did! If he says he is a natural centre, then make him play centre. I play left wing, it’s my natural position, I do not play defence for a reason……..a coach that make me play defence is playing with fire.

    It’s pretty simple! Strome playing centre can only be a good thing!

  • RJ

    Strome is a 3RW with upside, according to some Islanders blogs I read.

    The logical course of action is to play him as a 3RW. He outperforms the 3RW position, then he moves up.

    If he performed well as a 3C, that would be nice but it shouldn’t be assumed. How many games last season did the Oilers play Lucic and Eberle with McDavid even when it was clear they didn’t fit?

  • nuge2drai

    Maroon/McDavid/Strome
    Lucic/Draisaitl/Jagr
    Jokinen/RNH/Puljujarvi
    Caggiula/Letestu/Kassian
    Slepyshev/Khaira/Pakarinen

    Switch RNH and Strome for different situations. Go out and buy a Jagr jersey. Wear it forever.

  • OriginalPouzar

    The GM has been express that he sees Strome is a center but, alas, he’s not the coach.

    I didn’t realize he was almost 2.4 PP/60 in his one nice year – its good to know he’s got that in him.

    Lets not forget, his offence spiked atter Capuno was let go – he flourished under Weight and hopefully the last few down years were due to him and the coach not really being aligned.

  • DarkOil

    I see a lot of discussion over who won the trade between the Oilers and Islanders Eberle for Strome, to me it’s not just about who gets more points but who also keeps the other team from scoring. In this context I believe that the Oilers have won the trade. Eberle is or was great at putting the puck in the net but was hard fought to keep it out of ours. Strome is a known team player and I would love to see Ryan and Ryan playing together. Kind of a jumbo Joe and his general