Arizona Coyotes: Dylan Strome Could Have Prevented Recent Roster Moves

Oct 5, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Arizona Coyotes center Dylan Strome (20) controls the puck against Calgary Flames during the second period during a preseason hockey game at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 5, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Arizona Coyotes center Dylan Strome (20) controls the puck against Calgary Flames during the second period during a preseason hockey game at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Hindsight is 20/20, but it looks like the Arizona Coyotes might have been just fine keeping Dylan Strome in Glendale.

The Arizona Coyotes have recently traded for center Peter Holland. They also claimed journeyman center Josh Jooris off of waivers.

What if the Coyotes had simply used Dylan Strome to fill that void?

After Brad Richardson went down with a gruesome injury, the Coyotes were left with a hole in their roster. This presumably opened up opportunities for rookies Christian Dvorak and Dylan Strome.

Instead, two days later Strome was sent back to Erie for another year of seasoning.

Management felt that they already had capable centers on the roster and in Tuscon and this is partially what made Strome expendable.

Related Story: Don't Panic, Dylan Strome Is Not A Bust

Jordan Martinook performed admirably as the third line center, but now that his scoring has cooled off it is clear he is better suited as a winger. The fourth line has had a revolving door at center. Ryan White, Laurent Dauphin, and Tyler Gaudet have all spent time playing center and the Coyotes are still looking for an answer.

The Coyotes as a team are 27th in the league in face-off percentage. Shane Doan has even begun taking draws when he has played with Christian Dvorak.

Needless to say, throughout the season it has been evident that the Coyotes needed help up the middle.

Critics of Dylan Strome will say that he had every opportunity to prove to the coaching staff that he deserved to stay. The problem with that argument is that during most of his seven games he wasn’t given a chance that befitted his skill-set.

Strome was confined to a bottom six role or saw long stretches of being benched throughout games.

Yes, his defensive play was a cause for his limited ice time. However, the Coyotes aren’t exactly an elite defensive team with a goals against average of 3.04 per game. Strome can’t take the blame for that.

It’s not like things have improved without him.

When given the opportunity, Strome showed that he is capable of creating offense at the NHL level. His point totals might look much different if Anthony Duclair weren’t mired in a season long slump. Outside of Max Domi, Strome appears to be the only one who can coax the potential out of Duke.

Arizona is now looking to veteran players like Peter Holland and Josh Jooris to come in and contribute rather quickly. These are both very low risks for Arizona, yet the pickup of one or both could have been prevented if Strome stayed in Glendale.

Strome could have provided offense. Yes, it may have come at a cost, but when the alternative option is moderate defending and little to no reliable offense, which would you choose?

Practicing and competing against pros daily would have also been more beneficial to his development than dominating junior hockey, and there is no doubt he is once again dominating.

Dylan Strome has 16 points in just seven games with Erie Otters. He’s scoring at such a pace that if he had played just 28 games, which is a few shy of the total Erie has played so far this season, he would be pacing the team in points yet again.

The logic behind the move was understandable. Allowing him to mature physically for another year and hone his skating are valid reasons for his demotion.

The problem with that is he is already showing that there is nothing left for him in Erie. While at times he could look like a boy among men in Arizona, he is very clearly a man among boys in the OHL.

The only benefit of Strome returning to junior hockey is that he will be one of the leaders for Canada’s World Junior Team.

With the tournament coming in about two and a half weeks, it’s a safe assumption that Dylan Strome will be looking to make a statement, not unlike Domi did previously.

Next: No McDavid, No Matthews. The Coyotes Are Tanking A Year (or Two) Too Late.

This annual tournament is a great way for Strome to show how dominant he can be. It’s also a chance for the 19-year-old to send a message that he was better off staying in Arizona and helping the Coyotes score goals now.