Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his annual rankings of the top 30 draft-eligible prospects. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on June 26-27.
|(Photo Credit: Getty Images) |#4 – DYLAN STROME
Center, Erie (OHL)
6’2.5”, 185 lbs.
The 2014-15 Ontario Hockey League regular-season scoring leader with 129 points (45+84), Strome bundles high-end offensive talent with a strong understanding of his two-way responsibilities as a centerman.
The production is quite attractive, but the package would have been just as compelling had he posted an average set of numbers given his disciplined, high-character game and all-around potential.
A calculated thinker with a pro style frame, Strome executes with polished technical skills and great precision. He’s strong on faceoffs, smart with his stick positioning and very clam when distributing the puck. Strome’s resume also contains sharp shooting ability, but he’s perhaps a more accurate passer with a knack for putting the puck on his wingers tape when given just a sliver of space.
Detractors will say that Strome’s plodding skating game will be a deterrent at the next level, but like so many before him, the Toronto native thinks the game at a much higher pace despite lacking a motoring set of feet.
He earned a nod as the third Smartest Player on the OHL Western Conference Coaches Poll largely due to his consistency, discipline and ability to always get where he needed to be.
Stromes’ elite play-making skill was put on display on the final day of the regular season when he scored career highs of four goals and six points in a blowout victory at Niagara to sew up the scoring title.
His develop path could see him return to Erie for one more season, where it’s realistic to think he could start just how he finished and be a key cog in Canada’s mission to defend World Junior Championship gold.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects) for in-game updates throughout the week on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.