According to Elliotte Friedman, Dylan Strome is available in a trade. Should the New York Islanders pursue the 23-year-old forward?
It’s no secret, the New York Islanders should look to upgrade their top-six in the offseason. There’s just a slight issue, they don’t have a ton of money to work with. Before the start of next season, the Isles have Mat Barzal, Ryan Pulock, and Devon Toews to give a contract to as RFA’s.
The Isles are projected to have $12.6 million in cap space for next year, according to CapFriendly, so clearly they are going to have to free up some room.
The likelihood of the Isles landing an expensive free agent seems slim unless they can unload at least two big contracts on the books like Andrew Ladd and Johnny Boychuk. So trading for someone who has a smaller cap hit might be the best bet for the Islanders. Enter, Dylan Strome.
Strome, the brother of former Islanders first-round pick Ryan Strome, is apparently available to be had via trade according to Elliotte Friedman. Since being traded to Chicago from Arizona, Strome has been extremely productive.
In 116 games, the former third overall pick has 89 points (29 goals, 60 assists). Over an 82 game season that’s a pace of 63 points. Clearly, Strome found his groove in Chicago, but apparently GM Stan Bowman is looking to move him and the asking price doesn’t sound all that high either.
Strome can play either center or wing, which makes him useful to the Islanders who need help on the wing and also gives them some depth if God forbid a center gets hurt he can slide back over to his natural position.
He’s not the best at faceoffs, he had just a 47.7 faceoff percentage this year, so putting him at center over someone like Brock Nelson or JG Pageau doesn’t make a ton of sense.
You can run something like:
Strome – Barzal – Eberle
Lee – Nelson – Bailey
Beauvillier – Pageau – Bellows
Komarov – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
That adds much more depth to your forward group that at times this year was forced to run guys like Michael Dal Colle, Leo Komarov, and Derick Brassard in the top-six. At six-foot-three 200 pounds, Strome is a big boy and is just plain hard to play against.
He’s not afraid to go down low and score goals, and his talent upside is likely higher than a player like Anders Lee. He may not score as many goals as Lee normally does but he’s more of a fit playing with Barzal and Eberle than Lee.
What would it cost?
It’s hard to project what the price for Dylan Strome is. They originally acquired Strome and Brendan Pelini for Nick Schultz. More often than not, Bowman likes to acquire already established NHL players. Would Nick Leddy straight up be enough to get it done?
Bowman could likely use some help on the left side and he’s familiar with Leddy from his first go-around with the Blackhawks. Could the Islanders get by with Pelech – Pulock, Toews – Mayfield, and Dobson – Boychuk? I certainly would risk it with the desperate need for offense.
The Isles would then need to sign RFA Dylan Strome, and a bridge deal makes the most sense here. Probably something in the two-year range with an AAV around $3.5 million.
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That would give the Islanders a 50-60 point player for $3.5 million against the cap for two years before he’d have to get paid again. It’s not a perfect solution but it’s definitely a “low cost” move in the short-term and an upgrade to the Islanders forward group.