New York Rangers interested in center Dylan Strome; a move with plenty of pros and cons
The New York Rangers depth down the middle has already been tested just a few games into the season. What has become apparent is that the team lacks enough quality NHL pivots. How else can one explain Greg McKegg playing ahead of winger turned center, Morgan Barron.
Although Barron may make his season debut tonight in Nashville, it isn’t a given. Which brings me to the team’s need to bring in some outside center help.
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New York Rangers interested in Dylan Strome
Dylan Strome, 24, was acquired by the Blackhawks from the Coyotes back in 2018. He had a promising first season in Chicago with 51 points in 58 games but his production has declined since that season. For his career, he has 122 points in 204 games.
The younger brother of the Rangers’ Ryan Strome comes in at 6-3 and 200 lbs. A big boy indeed, who has yet to fully live up to being the 3rd overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. Yes, that’s the McDavid and Eichel draft.
On Tuesday for The Daily Goal Horn, I noted that the Blueshirts along with the Ottawa Senators were the most likely destination for Dylan Strome.
Yesterday, Larry Brooks of the New York Post confirmed that interest but noted that minimal progress has been made to this point. “There is no indication that talks between the Rangers and Blackhawks have progressed to any meaningful degree or that the Blueshirts do in fact have interest in the younger Strome,” he wrote.
Acquiring Strome won’t be easy, even though the Blackhawks are not playing him. The Senators had been in ongoing talks for Strome before Colin White was lost to a serious shoulder injury.
Pierre LeBrun noted that Ottawa and Chicago talked in the preseason but nothing came of it. Maybe the Sens have re-engaged helping the Hawks raise the price. Other reports out of Chicago say that the Ducks, Habs, and Wild are suitors.
The cost to acquire Strome, plus the pros and cons
So what will it take to pluck Dylan from the Blackhawks? There has been no firm reported ask at this point, but the speculation around the league is either a defenseman or a top prospect.
However, if I am the New York Rangers there’s no way I am moving Zac Jones for Strome. From what I can gather, Jones has already had a few tire kicking calls placed for him. Maybe there’s a chance the Rangers would be willing to part with Matthew Robertson but that’s still not an easy option.
Would Chris Drury send over Vitali Kravtsov straight up for Strome? I think so, but my guess is the Blackhawks want more. They could also be eyeing Morgan Barron in a deal. Which could explain why he hasn’t played yet despite the call up.
When it comes to the cons of acquiring Strome, one is the what the cost will be. The other is, where do you play him? Is he a wing once Ryan Strome returns from COVID protocol? Or do you move Filip Chytil to wing despite his and the organization’s desire to keep him at center.
Another issue is Strome will be an RFA with arbitration rights this summer. His current cap hit of $3M has no impact to the Blueshirts this season as they have ample cap space. However, with Adam Fox, Kaapo Kakko, and Sammy Blais also RFA’s it makes for some complexity.
As for the pros, having another NHL level center in your lineup is a good thing. The fact that he is also the brother of Ryan, who will be a UFA at season’s end could entice a nice discount for both to remain.
And maybe Dylan is a late bloomer, just like his brother was. Maybe, he can find the same magic his brother did on Broadway and make this a steal (and much needed win) for Chris Drury as GM.