GLENDALE - Coyotes prospect Dylan Strome on Thursday will lead the Erie Otters into the Ontario Hockey League championship series.
Strome, whom the Coyotes drafted third overall in 2015, has notched 11 goals and 14 assists in 17 OHL playoff games this season. He is the captain of the Otters, who are taking on Mississauga in a best-of-seven series.
This season is Strome's fourth with Erie. During his tenure, the Otters have reached the OHL playoffs every year, but they haven't captured the title. Erie has won the OHL championship just once, in 2001-02.
"It's something that I've been working toward for a long time," Strome told the Toronto Star. "Just for myself, being so close so many times, it feels like every year we have a chance to win and things don't go right in the playoffs. We're here in this position with probably the best shot we've had to win in the four years we've been here - a great team going to the finals."
Erie forwards Alex DeBrincat and Taylor Raddysh rank first and second, respectively, in OHL playoffs scoring with 31 and 26 points. Strome, who played seven games for the Coyotes at the start of the season before being assigned back to Erie, ranks tied for third with 25.
The winner of the OHL championship series will move on to the Memorial Cup, which is being hosted by Windsor later this month. Erie is expected to beat Mississauga; the Otters finished the regular season with 103 points, 22 more than the Steelheads.