Dylan Strome’s Contract Could Be A Steal For The Capitals

Dylan Strome, Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Dylan Strome, Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

At this time last season I was not sold on the Washington Capitals signing Dylan Strome. It was also around this time last year I wrote something that can easily prove I was not that convinced Strome was even that good of a player. Or that he at least had something or two to prove before saying signing him was worth it.

Well, how time can change things. Here we are, a year later, and I’m about to tell you that Strome’s new, much bigger contract could actually be one heck of a contract for the Washington Capitals.

Last season Strome had a, I would say, pretty good season. It wasn’t anything great to my recollection. Honestly his final stats for 2022-23 might be better than his season would suggest. His final stat line being 23 goals, 42 assists, 65 points in 81 games played.

His full season might have just been good, but it was the end of the season that Strome shined.

From February 24th to the end of the season Strome led the Capitals in scoring. I mean that in all ways as well. He led the Caps in total scoring with 28 points in the 22 games played in that time and he also led the team in goal scoring with 11. Leading the Capitals in goal scoring over an extended amount of time is incredibly hard to do with a certain Ovechkin around.

We need to point out that Ovechkin did miss a little bit of time in that time frame. He missed four games total, he had 10 goals in 18 games compared to Strome’s 11 in 22. But that does not make what Strome did any less impressive.

What’s also impressive is Strome put up most of those points at even strength. He did not wait for man advantages and power plays to cash in. He scored 21 of those 28 points while at even strength. He also had zero, yes, 0, power play goals during that time. All of his goals came when the teams were playing with the same amount of players on the ice.

Something I want to point out very quickly is this. Strome signed his new 5 year, $25 million contract on February 3rd. Why is it important in my mind when he signed his deal? It’s pretty simple. His hot streak came after signing his deal.

A lot of the time you will see guys play very well, get their extension or get their big deal and relax. Quite frankly, I think you may be able to look at the Capitals here too. In my opinion, it looked like Sonny Milano did that last season. When the Caps brought him in last season, I thought he looked outstanding most nights. In a lot of games I thought he was one of the better players for Washington. Then he signed his extension and afterwards I thought he disappeared for a lot of nights.

Strome was the opposite. He signed his extension, a much bigger extension than Milano, and then went on his tear. He also went on his tear, possibly when the Caps needed him the most when they were desperately trying to hold on late in the season. Unfortunately for both Strome and the Caps it wasn’t enough to get them into the playoffs.

The end of Strome’s season should make the Capitals and their fans excited. Or at the very least intrigued. The Capitals now have a 26, turning 27 year old late next season, center, who may be now showing us all he is a very good NHL player. The Capitals might of found a top six center and it didn’t cost anything to get him, and going forward his contract could be a steal.

Teams should probably be paying their number one center at or over $10 million a season. If you have a good number two guy he should be around $7-9 million probably. You can look at Edmonton for that. Connor McDavid has a $12.5 million cap hit, Leon Draisaitl has a cap hit of $8.5 million. Although I think we can all agree Draisaitl is probably madly underpaid. Different argument for different people on different sites.

Toronto has their top two centers both having a cap hit over $11 million a year.

If you want top centers you have to pay for them. Is Strome a top center? I still think he has to prove that over a long period of time. But like I said, the end of last season should make you excited for him going into next season.

If Strome can build on the end of his season just a little bit, and have a good 20-30 goal season with around 75 points, or just under, hopefully even over that, and if he can continue to do that for several seasons, his $5 million cap hit could be highway robbery.

You also have to think about the salary cap going up. From everything I hear most think the cap will drastically be going up in the next couple of years. Some even saying in the not so distant future it could be around $100 million.

I think if Strome can bring his game up just the smallest amount he could easily be worth around $7.5 or $8.5 a year. Instead, for the next five years Washington will only have him on the books for $5 million a year.

Related Story. Sonny Milano is a game changer. light

He still needs to prove some things. But, IF, he can continue to do what he did at the end of last season Strome’s contract could be a steal for the Washington Capitals.