Just like Michael Anderson, who was profiled yesterday, Matthew Strome should be a familiar last name for hockey fans. The brother of Dylan and Ryan, two first-round NHL draft picks, he was not as highly rated as the other two, but is a prospect in his own right.
Who Is Matthew Strome?
Matthew Strome is a left wing for the Hamilton Bulldogs, and the younger brother of forwards Dylan Strome of the Coyotes and Ryan Strome of the Islanders. According to Elite Prospects, Matthew Strome is 6’3”, 201 lbs, making size not a concern for this prospect. He was born in Ontario, on January 6th, 1999. He started off playing Midget Hockey in 2013-2014, albeit with only a one game appearance. He had his full season debut the year after, and recorded 60 points in 64 games. He was then drafted 8th overall in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection, where he then recorded 38 points in 61 games as a rookie, though it should be noted he played for a weak Bulldogs team. The year after, Matthew Strome improved as his role on the team increased. He led the team in points and goals, with 62 points in 66 games and 34 goals as well. It should also be noted he was 2nd on the team in penalty minutes, with 62 on the year.
Stats according to Elite Prospects.
As you can see, his numbers are good, but don’t pop out. With the Canada U18 team, he wasn’t a first-line player, and the numbers reflected that. With Matthew Strome, you know what you’re going to get.
Where is Matthew Strome Ranked?
- NHL Future Considerations: 27
- NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters): 33
- TSN (Midseason): 29
- Craig Button (March): 26
- The Draft Analyst (May): 79
Apart from The Draft Analyst, the consensus seems to be that Strome will fall in the 25-35 spot in the draft. He could drop, due to issues I’ll mention later on, but the likelihood of that isn’t too high.
What Others Say About Strome?
According to Brian Lombardo from The Hockey Writers
“Matthew Strome stands at 6′ 3” and 200 pounds. He is the largest of the three Stromes to enter the NHL. Matthew plays a very sound two-way game. He is a gifted offensive player who uses his big body to his advantage around the net. He is one of the better possession players in Major Junior hockey and his ability translates into a fluent three-zone game. Matthew can be actively involved on the power play and the penalty kill.”
This describes what most basically expected from Strome. His style is that of a two-way player, who uses his body to his advantage. The possession stat is a good thing to see, as that’s what the Devils struggle with. He’s an all-situation player, which is also good.
Gare Joyce writes about Matthew’s weaknesses
The knock is his skating.
“I just don’t know at this point," one Ontario-based NHL scout says. "Seeing him three times [this season], if he’s a prospect at the next level for me or just a really good junior whose skating keeps him out of the league. "His brother [Dylan] wasn’t a great skater in his draft year, but you had a sense that it was just a matter of strength—if he put the work in, then it was going to improve, which is exactly what happened in the season after his draft year, a big step up.
"Skating didn’t become a strength [for Dylan], but it stopped being a real issue. But [Matthew] has a whole other problem. Technically it’s sort of painful to watch. He has a short, choppy stride. It’s not clear how much you can improve it with added strength and physical maturity."
A player with skating difficulties would not be a good fit for this Devils team. Offensively starved, speed is the new hot thing in the modern day NHL. I have hesitancy with Strome when it comes to how I think his speed will translate.
Like his brother Dylan, Matthew Strome has outstanding hockey IQ, but could spend some time working on his skating going forward. He has heavy feet, and needs to work on his first step, as well as his acceleration. His stride lacks fluidity, and takes away from his maximum potential speed. Strome could also work on his agility, and edge work. Overall this is the weakest part of his game. One area that Strome is decent in though is his balance. This helps him to establish position in front of the net, or fight for pucks in the corners.”
Again, his skating is a concern. It could be a major problem going forward. It could not. We’ll see in the future
A Little Video
Our good friend NHL Prospects again provides us with highlights
This hat-trick video displays everything Strome offers. Yes, he’s slow, as the video suggests. His skating isn’t elegant. But his hockey sense mixed with his willingness to get to the front of the net is evidenced in the first two goals. He doesn’t give up, especially on the second goal, and places it underneath the goalie’s pads to get the goal, as opposed to sniping it as hard as he could.
An Opinion Of Sorts
Do I like Strome as a player? Yes. Do I think he’s worth an early 2nd round pick? For the Devils, I’m more hesitant. I’m not confident his skating can improve in the NHL, and the Devils already have enough two-way like players. If Shero thinks the Devils can develop Strome into a quality 2nd-line player, then I’m completely fine with him making this pick. However, I’m very hesitant about that.
So what do you guys think of the 3rd Strome brother. Would you want the Devils to draft him, if he falls to the Devils? Let me know in the comments below, and take care.