After going unqualified last offseason, Dylan Strome finally found a long-term home, signing with the Washington Capitals on a five-year, $25 million extension on Friday morning.
Strome, whose one-year contract would have expired with RFA status and arbitration rights, was an important addition this year for the Capitals. He has 11 goals and 36 points in 52 games so far, and his 36 points rank him third among all Capitals skaters, behind only Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. The center player lined up primarily alongside Ovechkin, serving as the sniper’s go-to puck distributor and notably picking up the main assist on the veteran’s 801st career goal.
“Dylan is a smart and capable center and has been a great addition to our organization,” general manager Brian MacLellan said in a press release. “We are delighted to sign him on a long-term contract. We believe his skills are a perfect fit for our team as he enters the early years of his career in an important role.”
Strome’s path to a long-term extension with Washington has been anything but simple. Originally drafted third overall in 2015 by the Arizona Coyotes – sandwiched directly between the selections of NHL stars Jack Eichel and Mitch Marner – Strome never found his legs with the Desert Dogs, struggling to stay largely due to slippage issues.
Finally, after a disappointing start to the 2018-2019 season, his fourth with the Coyotes organization, the Mississauga native was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. Strome first found success as a third wheeler alongside Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat, however, he struggled to maintain his production, ultimately failing to secure a qualifying offer last offseason.
Now, at 25, Strome seems to have found a place he feels comfortable, earning a big role with a Washington club battling for a playoff spot.
“When you play with really talented players it’s a lot of fun,” Strome said earlier this season of his hopes of staying with the club long term. “It’s a great group of guys, very veteran-focused, but I just tried to help out as best I could and it’s been fine.”
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