The #Oilers have signed forward Ryan Strome to a two-year contract through the 2019-20 season! @strome18 played all 82 games last season, posting 34 points (13G & 21A) including 3 game-winners. pic.twitter.com/8WA7vYsSRd— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) July 6, 2018
Only one restricted free agent remains for the Oilers in Darnell Nurse. The Oilers have re-signed Ryan Strome to a two year deal with an AAV of 3.1MM a year. That deal is about as good as it can get on a team that’s strapped to the wall by the cap. More of that in a little bit.
Strome was acquired from the New York Islanders last year for Jordan Eberle. Strome was used on the top line for a little while next to Connor McDavid, but the points never really came. He’d settle on the third line next to Milan Lucic and a host of other forwards and finished the season with 34 points in 82 games.
SCRATCHING THE SURFACE
What about Strome’s 2014-15 where he scored 50 points? Can that happen again? Maybe, though it would probably require a lot of first line time with (and a bucket of power play time) with Connor McDavid. Unless that happens, then no, I don’t think 50 points has a very good chance of happening again.
I think a point total in the mid-30s is a pretty fair indicator of where Strome will average for the length of the deal. If he’s kept on the third line for the duration of the deal, then it’s going to be difficult to see him get many more points than the 34 he finished with last year.
Strome’s 5v5 CorsiFor clocked in at 50.8 for the 2017-18 season. His career average? 50.9. Strome averaged an 8.8 shooting percentage for his four years with the Islanders organization. You of course, won’t be shocked to find out that he had an 8.8 last year in his first season with the Oilers. That’s pretty consistent. Not to buck a trend, I think that’s what we’ll see more of the next two years.
With Strome’s 3.1MM AAV, the Oilers now have one more big piece and one tiny piece to sign prior to the 2018-19 NHL season. The big piece? Darnell Nurse. The little piece? A 13th forward. The problem? They’re down to under 5MM total cap to do so, and that’s if Jesse Puljujarvi doesn’t hit his bonuses.
The Oilers will need to hope they can work a bridge deal out with Nurse and find an extra forward in the 850K range.
This deal is OK. Strome will be the team’s 3C, a healthy season will likely see him hit a poitn total in the 30s. The term isn’t too different from his qualifying offer, and the Oilers must now focus on figuring out Darnell Nurse’s deal.