Is Dylan Strome Back In The Mix?

For a while now, we haven’t really talked about Erie Otters centre Dylan Strome.

That doesn’t mean that Strome tumbled down the draft rankings, or that we at TLN soured on him… We actually stopped talking about him because it’d been suggested to us pretty strongly that the Arizona Coyotes were pretty much set on drafting him with the third overall pick. 

We stopped talking about Strome in the same way we’ve never really talked about Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel. It was irrelevant.

That might be changing pretty quickly.

This has major implications for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have long been tied to Mitch Marner and Ivan Provorov. Toronto certainly knows by now that Arizona covets Strome, but if they do choose to move down and another team grabs Boston College defender Noah Hanifin, Strome is suddenly and unexpectedly available.

Do the Leafs take Strome if they get the chance?

A 6’3, 185 centre, Strome lead the entire draft class with 129 points in 68 games this season. He is in every way the prototypical big first line pivot that every single team covets, with high end offensive skills and intelligence, and a knack for leveraging his size and strength to protect the puck. While his skating isn’t at the same elite level as others players expected to go around him, it’s also far from being a concern – Strome moves around the ice just fine. Still, some may argue that, statistically speaking, Mitch Marner is the better forward prospect

Strome ranked fourth in TLN’s own 2015 Draft Rankings, one spot behind Marner. Personally, I ranked Strome third – higher than any other writer on this site. So yeah, I do think the Leafs should draft Strome if he’s somehow available to them. Big centres are a lot like unicorns in that they don’t appear very often. When they do, it’s not a bad move to take a chance on them. Marner is a fantastic prospect, but I don’t believe the London Knights winger has so much more upside (I think it’s pretty much a push) that you can ignore Strome’s size and positional advantage.

More Strome Chit Chat:

The Case for Drafting Dylan Strome

How Good is Dylan Strome?

  • Brooksterman

    I think Toronto should stick with Marner. Strome is a good hockey player with an amazing mind for the game but Marner just seems like that special kind of player. He seems like a second helping a la Patrick Kane.

    The thing with Strome that seems a little disconcerting for me are his numbers. He ended the season with 129 points in 68 games while Marner came in second with 126 in 63 games. Marner was only 3 points behind Strome and played 5 games less than him. I think that Marner is more gifted offensively and if you’re drafting a forward, you should be drafting for offensive skill above all else.

    The other thing are the padded stats.

    As per Shaun Reis,

    “When Connor McDavid was in the lineup, Dylan Strome averaged 2.08 points per game. When Connor McDavid was out of the lineup, Strome averaged 1.45 points per game. As you might expect, Strome puts up better numbers when McDavid is in the lineup. But a 1.45 points per game without McDavid is pretty darn good, too.

    As for Marner, when Max Domi was in the lineup Mitch averaged 1.87 points per game. When Domi was out of the lineup…Marner averaged 2.78 points per game. No, you didn’t read that wrong. Marner’s numbers aren’t only better without Domi, but they are better by a very wide margin (albeit in a pretty small sample size, 11 games).”

    I have also been able to see both play live. I live in London and see Marner dominate and it is a sight to behold. Such a creative player with a wicked shot. I have seen Strome a few times and he was a mixed bag. He played extremely well a few times but was also not very noticeable other times. He reminds me of JVR as a centre, albeit a more talented one. When he comes to play, he can play with the best of them but when he doesn’t, you don’t notice him.

    Marner can take over the game and dominate. That just seems so much more special than Strome.

    • Benjamin

      I can’t decide, lets take both….though I like Hanifin too… Just make a couple of quick trades and get the third and fifth pick in the next 8 hrs, give away whatever you have to. Should be no problem for the Wunderkid, Dubas. Centers are harder to come by, take the C. If you exclude the 2 gods in the draft, doesn’t Strome sound like Tavaras did the year he was drafted?

      • silentbob

        Exactly.

        Its not like Marner is a “9” and Strome is an “8” and the fact that he is a center is the only reason to look at him over Marner. Strome is a very talent player, it would seem every bit as talented as Marner.

        • silentbob

          Gentlemen/Ladies, I was joking about getting the 3,4,5 picks. I’d be nice, and I like them all at that level. I would almost always pick the C or any other position. On Barzal, it would be risky but trading down with him as your target, might be a steel. Barzal is supposed to be as good as the big boys, but was injured, it that is the only knock, take him and get another pick out of it.

  • Brooksterman

    Again I reference what Mark Hunter said in an interview on TSN1050 in which he said they would take the best player available but in ideal circumstances that player is a centre that can eat up key minutes. To me the Strome vs Marner debate is easier to look at if you put it into terms of Toews vs Kane. For me I always take the centre as I believe it’s a more important position and getting a potential number 1 centre is harder to acquire than a scoring winger.

  • Benjamin

    @andrew sweet

    There are similarities betwen their games but Tavares was a player that was exceptional for a long time. He was granted exceptional status to enter the OHL when he was drafted by the Gennies. Tavares is also well known for his 200 foot game. No scouting report that I have read has mentioned Strome’s defensive game. They all mention his point production but I already talked about that.

    Also, if the Leafs were to trade for the 3rd or 5th pick, it would be wise to pick up a defenceman like Hanifan or Provorov. It helps the overall prospect pool and I think both of them have more upside than Strome. A centre that I adore is Barzal. I think he’s someone that people are going to talk about as top 5 in this draft years from now.

  • MatsSundin#13

    The other thing is that Toronto is going to be HORRIBLE next year. Like TIRE FIRE HORRIBLE! STEPPING ON A STRAY LEGO PIECE HORRIBLE! They might legitimately be in on the Auston Matthews sweepstakes. The potential to draft a big time centre can come in the future.

    Also, Strome does not compare to Toews at all. Sorry.

  • Puck_Stops_Here

    Dubas said they were going after the most skilled players regardless of positions and Marner fits the bill. It’s going to be a tough decision though. For the 24th overall I’d be bold and take a high risk high reward guy. Bob MacKenzie has Kylington ranked at 24 and has said just that.

  • Brooksterman

    What position is Nylander expected to play? If we take strome, do we put ourselves in an awkward spot with two or even three 1st line centres / forced to play Nylander on the wing?