The Edmonton Oilers found themselves lacking a lot of right wing depth following the Jordan Eberle trade. However, with Ryan Strome coming back in return, they have a player who can fill many voids on the team’s roster.
Though usually a centre, the 23-year-old has gotten time on the top-six wing so far this offseason, and has shined in his audition. He has had the opportunity to play with Connor McDavid and Patrick Maroon on the top line, and in that role, he has found himself flourishing.
In three preseason games so far, he has two goals and three points and has been one of the top forwards on the ice. He is able to take good care of the puck and keep up with the play, and he shows outstanding speed and ability on the ice.
In 69 games last season, Strome had just 13 goals and 30 points. Since being taken fifth-overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, he has not been able to put up consistent point totals. Due to his lack of offensive production, as well as struggles to find chemistry with the Islanders, he saw a change of scenery in the offseason and will have the opportunity to turn around his career with Edmonton.
Not only can he play on the wing, as he has proven with a strong performance so far through camp, but he is a natural centre who can win draws and take good care of the puck. The 6-foot-1, 194-pound forward plays a strong two-way game and rarely makes mistakes with the puck, and he can also serve as a physical presence.
Considering his playing style, and with the way he has adjusted to the Oilers so far, he will be an asset on the top six this coming season. He can adapt to any speed and line and has shown strong chemistry so far. In the end, the Oilers may have found a diamond in the rough.