For training camp at least, Dylan Strome might be the most interesting prospect in the league.
Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel will inevitably get a lot of attention as the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres respectively are hoping that those potential superstars are able to make a smooth transition to the NHL and lead them out of a rough patch in their history. But the real story for them begins with the regular season as their past accomplishments have all-but guaranteed them roster spots.
Strome is a different case. Taken with the third overall pick in 2015 after McDavid and Eichel, Strome has a ton of upside too and could develop into an elite center, but it’s not a foregone conclusion that he will spend the season with the Coyotes. He might instead return to the Erie Otters, where he would be the team’s offensive leader as his former teammate, McDavid, obviously isn’t expected to play for them again.
That’s not the path Strome has set for himself though.
“There’s no question that I feel I can be there,” Strome said of the NHL, per NHL.com. “It’s obviously going to be a tough task to get there and it doesn’t happen for too many 18-years-olds, and there’s going to be one [McDavid] who does it this year. I’m hoping I can be that second guy who makes a mark and helps Arizona get back to its winning ways.”
If he does prove in training camp that he’s ready to make the leap, then he would certainly be filling a need for Arizona. While the Coyotes have quite a few promising young forward outside of Strome, they’re also coming off of a campaign where they were the second worst team offensively.