When the Washington Capitals signed free agent Dylan Strome this off-season to a one-year, $3.5 million contract, many fans considered it a shrewd move, but few predicted he would consistently be one of the best players on the ice for the Caps.
But that’s exactly what’s happened, as through his first 40 games this season, Strome has recorded eight goals and 20 assists, and added a ton of value on the power play — something the team desperately needed.
“The team has been doing great and after our long Western Canada road trip, we really came together and started playing a lot better,” Strome says. “The results have shown that, so we need to keep it up heading into 2023.”
At 25, Strome was surprisingly let loose by the Chicago Blackhawks after a season where he registered 22 goals and 26 assists in 69 games. The Caps were more than happy to sign the 6’3 forward.
Before this season, the Canadian recorded 170 points in 273 career NHL games with Arizona and Chicago. He also was part of the silver medal-winning Canadian team at the 2019 World Championships.
As the team’s third-biggest point scorer this season, Strome has helped the Caps to a 21-13-6 as of January 5.
“I think there’s always room for improvement, but for the most part I’ve been playing pretty well,” he says. “I’ve been getting some chances and would obviously like to score more goals and help the team win. I can continue to help the team on the power play and create some offense.”
With the team comprised of veterans like Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson and the injured Nicklas Bäckström, Strome feels he’s learning a lot in his eighth NHL season.
“I think the veterans have been great,” he says. “There’s a lot of older guys on the team who have been around for a long time, so when they talk to you, you listen — and when they speak up, it’s usually something important. Along with the coaching staff, they really know what it takes to win. I’m just going to follow their lead.”
His favorite memory of this season was on December 13, when Ovechkin scored his 800th goal against Strome’s former team.
“Seeing that was pretty special,” Strome says. “It was also remarkable having it happen the same night I was back in Chicago, playing against them for the first time in four years. That’s something I’ll remember for a long time.”
Looking to 2023, Strome is excited for how the team is performing. He sees big things ahead.
“The chemistry has been really good,” he says. “Obviously, the playoffs are on everyone’s mind and getting a chance to play for the Stanley Cup, so if there’s one goal, that would be it.”
Ovechkin Scores Monumental 800th Goal
On December 13, Alex Ovechkin, playing his 18th NHL season with Washington, scored his 800th goal — a feat only accomplished by Wayne Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801) before him.
And the captain of the Caps did so in historic fashion, registering a hat trick — the 29th of his career — to lead the team to a 7-3 victory.
At age 37, and still performing at an elite level with 28 goals and 19 assists through the team’s first 40 games, he should have a shot at passing Gretzky’s all-time record before he calls it a career.
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