With the success that Dylan Strome has displayed over his last two seasons in the OHL playing for the Erie Otters, it seems a transition to the NHL is a no-brainer.
In 124 games he accumulated 240 points, a 1.94 points per game ratio. But, if that doesn't impress you he had 43 points in 33 playoff games to add to his resume.
Apparently, the Arizona Coyotes feel likewise since they bought out Antione Vermette's final year of his two-year $3.5 million contract, costing them $1.25 million over the next two seasons.
The team is confident in his talent and showed it by signing him to a three-year $10.2 million guaranteed contract (per spotrac.com), including a $277,500 signing bonus. His salary cap hit for this upcoming season will be $894,167.
Who will Strome's line-mates be?
What becomes interesting is where Head Coach/V.P. of Hockey Operations Dave Tippett will insert him in the lineup.
There could be some different line combos including a "kid" line of Strome, Max Domi, and Anthony Duclair.
You've got to just imagine the scoring and speed of such a line. Duclair can flat out fly, and Domi is no slouch in that area either. Adding in the playmaking ability of Strome, and you've got yourself one awesome forward line.
Are they a bit inexperienced?
And, knowing how Tippett likes to mix up his lines according to performance, you may see Strome moved around until he finds his niche with line-mates.
It's not certain if the hype Coyotes' fans felt last season with the addition of Domi and Duclair will be matched by the infusion of Strome and Christian Dvorak, but it certainly will be exciting to find out.
The fountain of youth
The youth this team exhibits is overwhelming. Strome is just another peg in the wheel allowing the Desert Dogs to show they're ready to break out of their lack of playoffs participation since 2011-12.
One knock on Strome was his lack of skating ability. The Coyotes hired Dawn Braid as their skating coach, and Strome will get some excellent instruction in that area of his game.
Per coyotes.nhl.com, "Braid begins a full-time role with the Coyotes after joining the franchise on a part-time basis in 2015. She has previously worked as a skating consultant with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres and Calgary Flames. Braid also spent seven years with the Athletes Training Center as its director of skating development where she instructed a variety of skaters including New York Islanders center John Tavares."
Since Strome has added some weight to his frame, he should be able to withstand the rigors of an NHL schedule, and playing against larger bodies than in the OHL.
Considering he was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and is a prolific offensive talent, Strome may be able to equal or exceed the success of the "Killer D's" combo of Domi and Duclair. He should be in the 20-22 goal range, and since he is an excellent playmaker he may hit the 50 point plateau.
Those numbers could inflate if he is teamed up with Domi and Duclair. The line could be pegged the 'kid' line, or remain the "Killer D's" (Strome).