Well, this came out of nowhere. The Oilers and Rangers have linked up to swap struggling forwards, as Ryan Strome heads to New York and Ryan Spooner will be coming to Edmonton.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 16, 2018
Strome has had an ugly start to the season offensively. Through 18 games, the former fifth-overall pick has only one goal and one assist. Spooner has also struggled in New York this season as he has two points in 16 games played. Like Strome, Spooner is a centre who can also play on the wing. So, ultimately, this looks like a change of scenery for two similar struggling, young forwards.
Spooner is somebody Peter Chiarelli is familiar with. Chiarelli drafted Spooner in the second round of the 2010 draft when he was with the Boston Bruins. Spooner would end up cracking the Bruins as a full-time player in 2015-16, putting up 13 goals and 49 points in 80 games. For his career, Spooner has played 289 NHL games with 46 goals and 160 points.
Last year, Spooner was one of the players involved in the trade that sent Rick Nash from the Rangers to Bruins for Boston’s playoff run last year. Despite his struggled so far this year, Spooner actually hit the ground running with the Rangers last year. In 20 games after the deadline deal, Spooner put up four goals and 16 points, which, hilariously enough, was better than what Nash did in Boston.
The Rangers will eat $900k of Spooner’s contract, so he’ll have a cap hit of $3.1 million this year and next for the Oilers. That’s the exact same cap hit Strome had here on the two-year deal he inked back in the summer. The one difference is that Spooner will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of his deal while Strome was still under team control.
Strome was an experiment that didn’t work out for the Oilers. He was acquired in a one-for-one year involving Jordan Eberle back in 2016 as the Oilers wanted a younger, cheaper, and more versatile forward. Unfortunately, Strome never managed to find his offensive game in Edmonton. He played 100 games for the Oilers and managed just 14 goals and 26 points. Hopefully, things work out better for Spooner.
RYAN SPOONER’S CAREER SO FAR
Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Twitter Account, 11/16/2018 – 1:31 pm MST