NY Rangers 2019-2020 Player Report Card: Ryan Strome

Great season, unconfirmed future

No single player divides the opinions of the NY Rangers’ fan base the way Ryan Strome does. Strome came to New York in a trade for Ryan Spooner –a trade that the Rangers clearly won– and immediately started scoring. There were questions about his shooting percentage and his play without the puck, leading to concerns that his point pace was unsustainable. Most of those questions should have been answered this season.

Strome again came into this season riding a scoring wave, as he instantly clicked with Artemi Panarin. Again there were questions about sustainability, and if Strome was simply just riding the Panarin wave. But it’s easy to overlook riding the Panarin wave when Strome puts up a line of 18-41-59 in 71 games. That’s third on the team in scoring and a shoe-in for 60 points. Despite what the other numbers say, you can’t ignore that production. It has a heavy influence on his overall season performance.

That said, we still need to get the full picture of Strome’s impact on the ice. Offensively, to no one’s surprise, the Rangers flourished with him on the ice. This was a very top-heavy Rangers team, so all of the top-six have offensively numbers like this. The defensive numbers aren’t pretty, again as expected, but the Rangers were still overall better with Strome on the ice. The offensive impact heavily outweighed the defensive impact.

Taking this a little deeper and looking at his rolling xGF%, we see that Strome was still an overall positive impact on the ice.

Strome was a big part of the Rangers’ resurgence of solid play beginning in December, peaking during that great run in February. He, like every other Ranger, started off a little slow away from the puck and also finished a little slow as the Rangers dealt with injuries and losing their best LD.

This season, in a vacuum, was a tremendous success for Strome. I don’t think anyone can really poke too many holes in his season or say he was a detriment to the team. The question is whether or not he’s worth a long-term, very costly contract, especially when the Filip Chytil has shown he should be able to handle the 2C role. We’ve had that discussion a lot.

In the end, the grade for this season isn’t based on his contract projections for next season. It’s based on his performance this season.

Grade: A.

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  • The evaluation of Strome is a value proposition. He did very well for us at the current salary (high value). Will he continue to flourish? His value will undoubtedly decrease as his cost goes up. Do we have anyone ready to take his place right now? I think not.

  • who else can help delivery the bread? it stinks that the salary cap is going to take a harsh hit…. I wonder if Strome will take a little less to stay where he has been playing so much better in his career…

    I know, wishful thinking…

  • He was good with Panarin, no doubt. I give him a little bit more credit because Jesper was the other winger. BUT the penalties, especially in the offensive zone, were horrendous. Add to it his way below D, I’d have to give him a B- overall

  • Offensively A- (but an A for him in terms of what we might have reasonably expected), but a C+ defensively — this is where the Panarin Line benefited from having Fast there. Still overall I would have to give him a very solid B+.

  • Strome has continually outperformed expectations; especially those who continually said his numbers were outliers based on a small sample size and he would revert to his presumed mean. Instead his productivity steadily improved. His propensity to take offensive zone penalties is maddening; seems like something that could be improved on though; but who knows.

    Don’t think the Rangers should offer big $ and term, especially given the tight cap. But if he would take say 6 mil for 4 years it would seem like a no-brainer given his chemistry with Bread. Seems very popular on the team. Hard to know the market for Strome. Hope they can find common ground because there is not an overabundance of offensive forward talent right now, especially at center.

  • Keep in mind this guy was a former 1st round pick of the Islanders. The bread man had the best year of his career with Strome playing along side him. Good chemistry or coincidence? Maybe Strome is finally living up to expectation. He is worthy of a B+. He also adds a little toughness. Overall, I like him.

    • There is nothing in Chytil’s play to date that indicates that he is ready to be a near point a game player like Strome. For all his potential he hasn’t yet developed chemistry with his wingers and made them better. The kid line was horrible statistically last season. I would say Chytil is still more a potential proposition than ready to be a top six forward. Let him progress as he can before throwing him into a situation is likely is ready for.

      • Spot on Orland! Chytil has good skills, potential, and hockey instincts, but is young, inconsistent, and very rough around the edges at this point. To think he can immediately step in for the experienced and more polished Strome and perform as good or better, is just hopeful anticipation. I wouldn’t super overpay Strome, but it would be worth trying to sign him to a reasonable deal, if possible.

      • I agree. In spurts he shows great promise, but I’ve yet to see him play a full 60 minute game at that Top 6 level. It may come next year, it may have to wait another year.

      • There is everything in Chytil’s play that dictates he play on the 2nd line with Panarin. Because Chytil is stuck with stiffs on the 3rd line.

        But put him on the PP, with skilled players, and he fits in just fine. Put him with Panarin and Kakko, and you will see Chytil’s skills come out.

        Sometimes, you have to look beyond the traditional stats.

        • You may be right Richter, he may improve with better line mates next year, but again, he may need some more time to mature. I may be wrong, but didn’t Quinn give him some opportunity on the second line during the year and a stent on the powerplay? He probably was rushed up to the NHL a little to quick. The kid is only 20, and definitely has a bright future ahead..

          • Craig, Chytil needs to play with skilled players, not Howden and Lemieux.

          • I guess it sure wouldn’t hurt to give him a shot and put him with better players. Then he can show if he has the goods yet. He has the size and the skills, but still raw. Don’t be surprised if Howden matures and improves somewhat next year. I hope he is a late bloomer.

  • Trade him as soon as this season is over. Regardless of what he does during these abbreviated playoffs, he had something of a breakout year or even 2. Teams can do much worse for a top 6 (C/RW) forward. If I can get a top 30 overall draft pick for him, I’m pulling the trigger on that. Gorton is going to have to make room for D’Angelo at the least. I would definitely pay Fast his money. Right handed wingers are rare & hard to find in the NHL. For years Fast & Stepan were the only two RH forwards on the roster.

    Personally I like Strome and would love to keep him on a long term deal. At the very worst, Strome is a solid middle 6 forward that can easily plug into the top 6 if/when injuries hit or when giving a young guy a spell during the grind of the long 82 game regular season.
    However, Strome is going to be seeking big money that Gorton is gonna need for homegrown kids. Strome is likely going to get severely overpaid. I think Gorton can get a 1st round pick or a promising young player in a trade for Strome. Just getting his $3.1 mil cap hit off the books will help a bit.
    The draft is probably gonna be the best chance to trade Strome.

  • Strome had a very good season last season. He obviously works well with Panarin and I like his attitude. He seems to be a leader on the club.

    His defensive weaknesses take some shine off of it, and he at times seems to misfire on some of the Breadman’s wonderful feeds. That is why I’d give him an A – / B+.

    The most difficult part is, how much to pay him? I’d like to see Chytil slot in as 2C, but the kid probably needs at least another half season of play before getting a shot at it. He might not be ready then either, but he should be soon.

    So, paying Strome 2C money would not seem to make sense, especially if the cap is going to be flat or shrink. In the Rangers favor is that he is, I believe, a RFA, which gives him only limited options. They might be able to wait on Chytil and sign Strome short term if he wants too much money to sign a longer deal.

  • If the Rangers JD & Gorton decided to trade Strome, what type of value would he demand? Remember the Rangers got a 1st for Skjei, so would think a 2nd line center as least that.

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