The Edmonton Oilers have traded Ryan Strome to the New York Rangers in exchange for Ryan Spooner.
Now before I get into this, I am taking Jordan Eberle completely out of it and just looking at the Strome and Spooner swap.
Ryan Strome was originally brought to Edmonton because he was cheaper and his time on the Island was not successful so the Oilers thought they could dump Eberle’s contract and get a player who was still young and finding himself….. Well a year and a half later Strome is still trying to find himself and figure out what type of player he is. In Junior and his first 2 years in the NHL Strome was a scorer. Well in the last 4 seasons he has not topped 34 points or 13 goals. So he’s figured out he’s not a scorer. Is he a physical presence? No, a concerning stat is that his hits went from 92 to 77 to 59 to 43 last year. So the offense dried up and then he decided he wasn’t going to hit either. After looking at offense and physicality, I’ll mention defense. If you’re going to play against other teams top lines, you’ll look to play 21 minutes or so. But with Connor McDavid getting lots of ‘best on best’ matchups, Strome averaged around 15 minutes during his time with Edmonton. This year he didn’t do much of anything and had 2 points in 18 games.
Ryan Spooner struggled to find top 6 minutes in Boston and was traded last year in the Rick Nash exchange. Spooner had 25 points in 39 games with the Bruins then put up 16 points in 20 games upon arrival with the Rangers. This year much like Strome, Spooner has struggled with 2 points in 16 games with just over 12 minutes of average ice time.
The Oilers needed a guy in their top 6 after Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto were sent to the AHL and Tobias Rieder on the injury reserve for at least a month. Spooner will be given a change right away to play top minutes. Strome never really found his way in Edmonton and joins a young Rangers team where he’ll get more of a prominent role. While Ryan Strome wasn’t a threat at either threat at the ice, Ryan Spooner is a threat at the offense end but also on the defensive side and this is a risk the Oilers are willing to take.
Ryan Strome, Edmonton Oilers, Oct. 21, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)