In June of 2017, Garth Snow flipped Ryan Strome for Jordan Eberle. Was it the right move for the New York Islanders looking back at the deal?
I’m still not sure how Garth Snow did it at the time. Landing Jordan Eberle, a four-time 25+ goal scorer, for Ryan Strome straight up seemed like an absolute steal for the New York Islanders.
Eberle, who just turned 27 was in the prime of his career while Ryan Strome was sputtering and underachieving as a member of the New York Islanders. The Oilers found themselves in a cap crunch and moved on from both Eberle and Taylor Hall.
For Jordan Eberle, his first year on the island couldn’t have gone any better. He was supposed to play with John Tavares but ended up finding a nice role next to Mat Barzal who was on his way to a Calder Trophy winning season.
Eberle finished the season with 59 points (25 goals, 24 assists). Strome, on the other hand, had trouble adjusting to his new team. He had just 34 points (13 goals, 21 assists) as it seemed like the 24-year-old would never reach that top-five pick potential.
In 2018-2019, Strome ended up getting moved again. He was off to a slow start with just two points in 18 games with Edmonton before they traded him to the Rangers. There, in 63 games he finished with 33 points and 18 goals. On the season, he had 35 points (19 goals, 16 assists) and proved to be a productive third liner.
Jordan Eberle wasn’t as lucky in year two with the Islanders, his numbers took a swan dive. He had just 37 points (19 goals, 18 assists) with five of his goals coming in the last seven games of the season.
Eberle carried that momentum into the playoffs though, scoring goals in each of the four games against the Penguins as the Isles swept Pittsburgh.
His play got him a new deal with the Isles, a five-year deal with a $5.5 million cap hit. In year one of his new deal, he was okay for the Islanders. He had 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) in 58 games for the Isles, a pace of 57 points over a full season.
While that’s more like it for Eberle, Strome has had a breakout season for the Rangers in his age 26 season. In 70 games, he has 59 points (18 goals, 41 assists) which is a pace for 69 points over a full 82 game season.
Was the Trade Worth It?
One thing to keep in mind with Ryan Strome is who he is playing with. He’s centering Artemi Panarin on L2 for the Rangers. Panarin’s been an absolute monster for the Rangers with 95 points and 32 goals through 69 games so far.
Jordan Eberle hasn’t had the luxury of playing with such a potent offense. So while his numbers were down last year, and clearly Strome has more points than him this year the trade was still worth it.
Let’s face it, Strome wasn’t going to be this productive with this team. There’s no way he’s a near 70 point player playing with Anthony Beauvillier and Mat Barzal, I just don’t see it. He put up back to back 30 point seasons and the Islanders moved on, I’m fine with that logic.
Also, you can’t discount what Jordan Eberle did for this team in the playoffs last season. He was a catalyst for advancing past Pittsburgh and deserves a ton of credit after he was labeled as someone who wasn’t a playoff performer.
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I would still do this trade 10/10 times. Sometimes, the guy you give up figures it out. At the time it made sense and even now, it still makes sense for the Islanders.