Though Edmonton Oilers winger Jordan Eberle appeared to struggle with shot accuracy and consistency last season, he did contribute a lot offensively.
The 27-year-old racked up 20 goals and 51 points last season and also hit the 20-goal mark for the fourth straight season, as well as the fifth time in his young career. And despite his struggles, as well as his third-line demotion which rendered him necessary to ship out, he did make up a lot of the Oilers’ right-wing depth.
Coming into this season, Edmonton was expecting a lot from Ryan Strome, who came from the Islanders in exchange for Eberle. It seems that he may be coming out of his shell, as he potted a goal and helper in the team’s 5-3 losing effort to Carolina, but prior to that, he went scoreless through four games to start the year.
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In 69 games last season, the 23-year-old forward had just 13 goals and 30 points, failing to put up consistent numbers, as well as produce at critical times. Not only that, he seemed to lack chemistry and didn’t have a lot of versatility.
However, a change in scenery was enough to give Edmonton hope that he would find success, as well as the back of the net, with his new team. But that hasn’t formulated into much, and although it is still early, he needs to do more to fill the void on offence.
Room for Improvement
First off, the former fifth-overall pick needs to take more shots, especially as he shifts from the role of centre to winger. If you get more pucks on net, you are more likely to score, and that is evident from Strome’s last game, where he found himself more involved offensively.
He also needs to take better care of the puck and take his time in the offensive zone. This will not only help him defensively, but it will help him control the game when he is on ice leading to more time with the puck and in turn, more scoring chances.
In addition, Strome may have five hits through five games, but he could get more physically involved. The 6-foot-1, 194-pound centre has the opportunity to throw his weight around a bit more and has the size to do it. If he adds more aggression and battles more for pucks, he will get more opportunities and ice time.
Overall, there are several areas of Strome’s game that he can tweak to produce more, and it is only a matter of time before he starts to adjust and fill the void Eberle left.