At pick No. 106, the Flyers have selected winger Matthew Strome of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Strome, who posted 34 goals and 28 assists in 66 games this past season, may be best known for who his brothers are: recently-traded center Ryan Strome was selected fifth overall in 2011 by the Islanders, while Dylan Strome went No. 3 to the Coyotes in 2015.
Strome appears to represent good value for the Flyers here, as the general consensus on him was that he had a second-round kind of grade. Here’s a round-up of those grades, via eliteprospects:
Strome’s a bigger winger — he stands at 6’3”, 190 pounds — who needs to work on his skating, but there’s upside in this pick for the Flyers. The folks over at All About The Jersey put together a scouting report for Strome, which essentially hammers the following points home:
- He’s a skilled offensive player.
- He plays a solid two-way game.
- He doesn’t skate very well at this point. This, in particular, via Sportsnet’s Gare Joyce, is likely the reason why Strome was still available in the 4th round:
The knock is his skating.
“I just don’t know at this point," one Ontario-based NHL scout says. "Seeing him three times [this season], if he’s a prospect at the next level for me or just a really good junior whose skating keeps him out of the league. "His brother [Dylan] wasn’t a great skater in his draft year, but you had a sense that it was just a matter of strength—if he put the work in, then it was going to improve, which is exactly what happened in the season after his draft year, a big step up.
"Skating didn’t become a strength [for Dylan], but it stopped being a real issue. But [Matthew] has a whole other problem. Technically it’s sort of painful to watch. He has a short, choppy stride. It’s not clear how much you can improve it with added strength and physical maturity."
That’s not what you want to read, in a time where the league is getting faster everywhere you look.
But if you’re the Flyers and you think you can reform that stride, you may have a first-round kind of talent on your hands here. The team has seen Oskar Lindblom make similar strides in his development in recent years (after a similar unceremonious tumble down the board in his draft season); here, we’re hoping that lightning can strike twice. In any case, tough to argue with the value here.