The Anaheim Ducks announced that they have signed center Ryan Strome to a five-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available from the Ducks, but Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the contract carries a $5MM AAV. With plenty of cap to spend and a few weapons needed to compliment a young and talented core, the Ducks have begun to make their moves, Strome representing a key veteran to add to their rebuild. Sportsnet’s Nick Alberga had previously mentioned Anaheim as. a team to watch in the Strome bidding.
With the New York Rangers signing of Vincent Trocheck earlier today, it became apparent Strome was on his way out of New York after an incredibly successful tenure which saw him completely rebuild his career. Before coming to the Rangers, the former fifth-overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft had struggled after a strong showing in a 50-point sophomore season with the New York Islanders, the team that had drafted him. Following a couple of disappointing seasons on Long Island, he was dealt to the Edmonton Oilers one-for-one for Jordan Eberle, but after struggles in Edmonton, he was then sent back to New York, this time to the Rangers, now one-for-one for Ryan Spooner.
The Rangers had been hoping to keep Strome in the fold, given not only his success with the team, but especially his chemistry with superstar Artemi Panarin, whom Strome teamed up with on the second line to create a formidable offensive weapon. Anaheim will hope to recreate some of that magic, bringing Strome and former Rangers teammate Frank Vatrano in to compliment a talented group of young players including Troy Terry, Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale, and electric young prospect Mason McTavish.
Strome isn’t the kind of superstar that Johnny Gaudreau is, and Anaheim likely won’t be competing for a Stanley Cup just yet like the Rangers were this season, but the match seems to be perfect for both sides. For Anaheim, they will get a veteran, talented top-six forward who has shown that he can make the players around him better. Additionally, Anaheim does have a crop of young players like Max Comtois, Max Jones, and Isac Lundestrom who were all once highly-touted prospects that Strome could influence when it comes to reaching their potential, even if a bit later than expected. For Strome, he will have an opportunity to play alongside another superstar, one who is only approaching his peak in that of Zegras, as well as other dynamic names like McTavish and Terry, just as he had the opportunity to do so with the Rangers.