For the second year in a row Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli traded what was once a core player off of the roster when he sent Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders in another one-for-one swap.
Just looking at things from a numbers perspective it’s a risky trade for the Oilers because Strome’s production has never come close to matching what Eberle did for the Oilers. In what was considered a down year for Eberle in Edmonton this past season he still scored 20 goals and 51 total points. In parts of four NHL seasons Strome, even in his best season, has never scored more than 17 goals and has only reached the 50-point mark (or even come close to it) just one time. The biggest advantage for the Oilers at this point was the salary cap savings, which will be needed with the new contract for Connor McDavid kicking in next season and whatever Leon Draisaitl gets on his new contract this summer.
But Strome is excited about the opportunity to get started in Edmonton and the fresh start that comes with it. Especially on a young team that is on the rise with one of the game’s best players in McDavid.
Here he is talking this past week about the opportunity he is about to get in Edmonton, via the Edmonton Journal.
“With so many ups and downs in my career, I think I’ve definitely learned to handle adversity pretty well,” Strome said. “I’ve had a lot thrown at me and I’ve gone through some stuff. I definitely don’t feel like too much of a rookie anymore, it’s funny how fast time flies. But being traded now, it’s a good opportunity, and people are excited to have me and it’s going to be good. It’s nothing but optimism from my end.”
The Hall-for-Larsson swap was a pretty controversial one from an Oilers perspective and it’s going to be debated for quite some time as to who actually won the trade, or if the Oilers ended up getting enough. It is probably going to be a similar story with this swap because unless Strome takes advantage of his new surroundings and the new opportunities and takes a big step forward he is going to be facing a ton of pressure and scrutiny in Edmonton because he is trying to replace a really productive, proven player. Eberle may have struggled at times this past season, and especially in the playoffs, but he is still a winger you can count on for 20-25 goals and 50-60 points every single season. That is a proven first-line player in the NHL.
The 24-year-old Strome still has a long way to go before he reaches that level.