Getting To Know Newly Acquired Rangers Center Ryan Strome

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Yesterday afternoon, the New York Rangers announced that they have acquired C Ryan Strome from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for F Ryan Spooner. Although the trade seems like a lateral move, this is a classic example of a low risk/high reward deal, along with a change of scenery type situation. That being said, lets take a look at what Ryan Strome could bring to the table for the Blueshirts.

Strome began his professional career with the Islanders as he was selected 5th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.  During his time with the Islanders, Strome played in 258 games, amassing 126 total points before being dealt to Edmonton for Jordan Eberle back in 2017. In his short tenure with the Oilers, Strome amassed a total of 36 points, moving up and down the lineup.

Listed at 6 foot 1, 194 pounds, Strome offers the Rangers a big body down the middle. While not a game breaking skater, Strome offers a grittier style game, with solid hands to boot. Edmonton GM Peter Chiarelli had this to say about Strome:

Last year, Strome was traded one-for-one from the Islanders to Edmonton for Jordan Eberle. “Ryan hasn’t put the numbers up like Jordan, but he’s got some things to his game that will help us.” Edmonton GM Peter Chiarelli said after that acquisition. “He’s got good size, he’s got a terrific wrist shot — I scouted him for a long time for the U-24 team —  a very, very cerebral player, he can play center or the wing, very good on the half wall… He’s a skilled, cerebral player… We like the sense, we like the shot, we like the way he thinks the game.” Nicholas Adams/The Runner Sports

Strome presents himself as a two way center, who does not turn the puck over much and is responsible in his own zone. Although incredibly different from other current Ranger players, including the man he was dealt for, Strome makes up for his skating ability with being smart with the puck, alongside good puck handling skills. Strome is also a right handed shot, which is a welcome addition to the depth down the middle. The Rangers are lacking a physical presence at center and if it pans out the way the blueshirts want, Strome can provide a key element that could help this team now and if they deem fit, down the line.

David Staples of the Edmonton Journal had some observations about Strome after the Eberle trade:

He’s got decent size, 6-feet, 1-inches, 200-pounds and he’ll both give and take a hit to make a play far more than Eberle ever did. He’s not a heavy hitter but he uses his body well to try to win pucks in battles. He’s got more grit than I had expected, a pleasant surprise. He lacks the speed to get in fast on the forecheck, like you might see from a Zack Kassian, but he’s a persistent checker.

He’s a smart player, who can handle the puck in close quarters. He won’t stickhandle around many players, but he can hold it long enough to make a play.

He isn’t prone to terrible turnovers. Instead, his shtick is to get the puck and move it fast, most often to the right teammates. In this way, he’s like a bigger version of a Kris Versteeg. He’s something of a glue player, a guy who can fit in well on a line with an ice-tilting, scoring chances machine of an attacker.

Strome, only 25, has struggled out of the gate this season for Edmonton, just as Spooner has struggled for the Rangers. Although both players present solid skill sets, the two needed a change of scenery. It seems as though a player like Strome fits into David Quinn’s style of hockey more than Spooner did. The Rangers are hoping with this change of scenery and different play that was presented in Edmonton, Strome can unlock a different level in his game that hasn’t been shown since his days on the Island.

Having played the better part of 6 pro seasons, Strome can serve as someone who could offer his skill set, lessons and his experiences to many of the current Rangers youth. Players like Filip Chytil, Lias Andersson, Jimmy Vesey and others all benefit greatly from this trade. The Rangers know this is possible and decided to take a flyer on him with this in mind. Under contract for another season, this gives Strome a chance to acclimate to the dynamic the Rangers are currently presenting, if the club deems him valuable enough to stick around. In Edmonton, he was paired with an aging Milan Lucic. Here in New York, he’ll play with younger, faster and more versatile players, which in turn may show an increase in production.

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As confirmed on the New York Rangers website, Ryan Strome will wear uniform number 16.

To summarize, Strome is a big body down the middle, and although he does not possess game breaking speed, can still skate very well along with having solid hands and an incredible wrist shot. A right handed player, Strome strengthens the center depth, as well as bringing a veteran presence to the locker room. A player who can win battles, can be gritty and is defensively minded is something that could fit well into David Quinn’s system. Hopefully, he can regain his scoring touch and become a welcome addition to the boys in blue.