Thursday, 3 January 2013

Player Profile: Dylan Strome (2013 OHL Draft)

Dylan Strome 
Toronto Marlboros 
Year of Birth: 1997 

The middle of the three Strome brothers, Dylan physically stands out immediately on the ice as one of the taller forwards in the draft class. Despite his stature, Strome is a player of subtleties and one requires careful attention to detail to dissect and fully appreciate his profile.

The lanky centre currently possesses average speed at best and lacks a second gear preventing him from being more dynamic through the neutral zone and, as a result, prefers to use the perimeter. Despite the aforementioned mobility concerns, Strome excels ahead of others with his vision and puck skills. Strome compensates for deficits in the other two zones by being highly proficient and efficient in the offensive zone, a trait that gives the impression that one is watching two different players.

Given the option, Strome will not carry the puck through the neutral zone but while he may appear to be coasting, he processes game sequences before they will unfold. Once across the blue line, Strome is adept at finding open ice and his offensive hockey sense creates scoring chances for his team. Even in the offensive zone, Strome does not play a puck possession game, choosing instead to either set up plays with very quick puck movement and smart decision making or creating time and space for himself in high percentage scoring areas – in fact, the two strategies are sometimes combined as he will pass the puck simply to receive it in a position with less coverage. Both offensive zone options have proved to be fruitful for Strome as his ability to successfully distribute the puck to teammates is highly effective, as are his puck skills and ability to finish in close with a quick deke, using his frame to shield the puck. Strome also possesses a very accurate shot with a quick release which adds to his offensive dimension. Quick hands make him successful at the face-off circle and at disarming lackadaisical puck carriers when killing penalties. Not surprisingly, Strome is a natural on the power play with swift puck distribution through narrow passing lanes.

Strome needs to work towards being more effective in the defensive zone as he has a tendency to drift at times. Other areas for improvement include building strength since he can rather easily be separated from the puck, and of course explosiveness in first step quickness. Not naturally aggressive, a physical edge will not be part of his game and Strome avoids crowded areas of the ice. Overall, Strome is a very intelligent hockey player with very good puck skills who makes his team better. Strome will likely be a top ten selection in the upcoming 2013 OHL Priority Selection.
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