When it comes to up and coming prospects, Dylan Strome is at or near the top of everyone's list. This year, he may get the chance to show everyone why at the NHL level.
#2 - Dylan Strome - Center - Erie Otters - 3rd overall pick, 2015 NHL Draft
Highest Rank: 1
Lowest Rank: 3
Dylan Strome arrived to the Arizona Coyotes under less than auspicious circumstances. After finishing with the 29th worst record in the NHL, the Coyotes lost out on both Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel via the NHL Draft Lottery, and fell to 3rd overall.
Picking Strome immediately addressed one of Arizona's long-standing needs: a franchise #1 center that could score, create space, and hang with the larger middlemen in the Pacific Division. Strome figures to do all of that with the Coyotes.
The Mississauga, Ontario native stuck with the Coyotes for almost the entirety of training camp last season - to the team's pleasant surprise - but was ultimately returned to the Erie Otters of the OHL. While there, he followed up a 45 goal, 84 assist season with a 37 goal, 74 assist season. Most notably, he missed 12 games in the process, which meant he actually was producing more points per game this season than last, which mind you was on a team featuring Connor McDavid.
It's going to be hard to send Dylan Strome back again this season. His strongest asset is his intellectual ability; ask teammates and scouts what they like about Strome, and terms like "vision", "hockey sense", and "creativity" all come up. Those are the ingredients for success in the NHL.
While upper-body strength was the biggest concern last year, Strome has already added an extra 10 pounds. That should help him deal with the physical rigors of the NHL. There is also a center spot open with the buyout of Antoine Vermette, so the opportunity for him to win a spot is right in front of his eyes.
Strome drew favorable comparisons to Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf, a center who while frustrating Coyotes fans on the ice, has also managed to record nearly a point per game in 787 NHL appearances. If Strome lives up to the hype, the only people more excited than Arizona fans will be the wingers alongside Strome who will reap the benefits of his speed, skill, and instincts.