New York Islanders Ryan Strome has yet to put pen to paper on a contract extension after his ELC ended this July. Assuming he signs what would be a reasonably successful season for Strome?
Last season was a great disappointment for Ryan Strome. He finished the season with eight goals and 20 assists. He was also sent down to the New York Islanders AHL affiliate for a few weeks in November.
Strome is currently without a contract after his entry level contract reached its end this July. There’s no sign that Strome won’t sign so we’re going to assume that he does. So, keeping that assumption, what can we expect, statistically, from Strome in 2016-17?
Last season was the classic sophomore slump for Strome, who had just come off a career 50 point season in 2014-15. A season that many thought would set the bar on what Strome can contribute for the foreseeable future.
Pressure to Perform
Strome’s new deal will likely reflect management’s uncertainty to his abilities. But no matter what type and size of contract Ryan Strome signs he will be under pressure to perform and produce.
Is Strome a 28 point player or a 50 point player? Has Strome’s potential peaked in that 2014-15 season or is there more to see from him in the years to come?
He’s also going to be asked to help fill that goalscoring void lost with Nielsen’s departure to Detroit.
Strome’s first step before increasing his production will be to get better in the faceoff circle. Last season his faceoff success on a total of 95 draws was 41.05%. Not good for what is likely going to be our second-line center.
The benefits of faceoff wins are fairly simple to understand. Winning draws increases possession. Another area Strome needs to improve next season.
His Corsi rating fell by almost four percentage points from 2014-15 to 2015-16 from 53.9 to 50.6. A marginal increase in faceoff efficiency will help Strome get his Corsi back on track. Consider that his defensive starts are by far skewed to the offensive zone with 56.8% offensive zone starts compared to 43.2% in the defensive zone.
(stats taken from hockey-reference.com)
Last season production was a far cry from his first full NHL season. Scoring nine fewer goals and 13 fewer assists. Thanks in large part to long stretches of games without any production.
It’s not to say that Strome needs to get a point every night, but he needs to increase the rate in which he does score. Last season Strome went missing from the score sheet on 47 occasions.
More importantly are 16 out of 17 games between February 18th to March 23rd where Strome scored a single point. The stretch finally took its toll on the coach who eventually called out Strome publicly for his poor play.
Anything less than 30 points is going to be a disappointment for Strome. Thirty points might sound like a good haul for an NHL player, but considering Strome potential this isn’t going to be enough. Strome needs to aim for the 30-40 point range for 2016-17 to see his stock rise to where we all think it belongs.