EDMONTON, AB - Ryan Strome is entering his first season with the Edmonton Oilers, and it's only his first day of training camp - but he already has homework.
Heading into 2017-18, the Oilers have a challenge for the 24-year-old forward: shoot the puck more.
The Oilers traded Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders, in exchange for Strome. Eberle finished 2016-17 second on the team in shots on goal with 208, behind only Connor McDavid - the League's leading scorer.
"One thing Ebs did do is he shot the puck a lot and we're going to challenge Strome to do the same," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. "We've got to get his shot totals up a little bit. It's a long year to only have 114-115 shots on goal. With his skill level and the players he plays with he's got to get the puck there a lot more and that will be a challenge for him."
If Strome were to get a chance with McDavid, as is expected, he has to be ready to receive the puck in prime scoring situations. That means he'll have to generate far more than the 114 shots he did a year ago, which was tied for 279th in the NHL.
"He'll probably see the puck a lot and he's got to put himself in those positions," said McLellan. "Sometimes, players don't shoot for a reason. We've got to figure that out and make sure he's willing to shoot."