When it comes to overall production, it’s been a slow start for Ryan Strome with his new team in Edmonton.
Beyond the play of Connor McDavid and a two-goal outing from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on Thursday, it’s been a slow start for just about everyone on the Oilers roster.
That said, it was surprising to hear on Saturday, before we’ve even completed the first month of the NHL season, how the Oilers are apparently viewing the Ryan Strome-Jordan Eberle deal from this summer.
From Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet:
“The fact remains, they’re disappointed in the Ryan Strome for Jordan Eberle deal. I think they’re not married to even keeping Strome, if they can move him. I think probably would. The question is would he bring anything in return of significance? No question … it’s a priority for Peter Chiarelli to find some scoring on the right side.”
In trading Eberle, Edmonton moved a forward that may have had a disappointing playoff but is a proven 20-goal scorer, reaching 34 in his second full season back in 2011-12. Eberle does have a cap hit of $6 million per season, so in acquiring Strome and his $2.5 million cap hit, the Oilers were able to create more space in order to sign restricted free agent Leon Draisaitl.
Strome, taken fifth overall in 2011, had 50 points in 2014-15 but was up and down during his time with the New York Islanders before a change of scenery was given to him in this trade. The Oilers were certainly excited at the time to receive a player that could be used both at center or the wing.
Nine games into his tenure with Edmonton, though, and Strome — a pending restricted free agent at the end of the season — has one goal and three points. Eberle began tonight’s game versus Nashville without a goal (he had six assists in 10 games), but changed that early in the first period. He ended up scoring twice with a three-point night.
The Oilers entered this season with heightened expectations after making it to the second round of the playoffs, but they entered tonight’s game versus Washington sitting 29th in the league in scoring with only 2.22 goals-for per game. McDavid has either scored or assisted on 50 per cent of his team’s goals early on, and secondary scoring has become an issue.
There are currently six players on that roster — including Strome, Draisaitl and Milan Lucic — who began tonight with only one goal on the season. Edmonton currently sits with a 3-5-1 record.
Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.