Keeping Ryan Strome Should Become Drury’s Top Priority

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29: Ryan Strome #16 of the New York Rangers high-fives teammates after scoring a goal during the first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden on October 29, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Chris Drury will have a lot of contract work to figure out during the Rangers next offseason. Nothing will be more important than figuring out what to do with Ryan Strome. While Adam Fox and Kaapo Kakko will both be RFA’s their status and next contracts should be figured out rather quickly. We’ve been outspoken on 30 On Broadway about how Fox should’ve been Drury’s top priority this past offseason.

Regardless, the biggest question will be what to do with Strome?

Since being traded to New York, Strome has become one of the more polarizing players because so many fans really have no idea what to make of him. This is a guy who was once a 5th overall pick of the New York Islanders who didn’t work out on the Island or in Edmonton after being traded for Jordan Eberle.

He’s never been a high point producing player even when he got to play with Connor McDavid but since becoming a Ranger he seems to have found his comfort zone.

In 193 games since becoming a Ranger he’s put up 143 points and has set himself a new career high for points in a season with 59. He’s also set himself a new single season career high in goals with the Rangers tallying 18 and he’s done that twice on Broadway.

From all accounts as well he’s become a big part of the locker room leadership core and has developed great chemistry with Artemi Panarin.

While many might believe Strome’s success has been because of his time spent with Panarin, he’s actually flourished before Panarin ever got to Broadway and when he missed time last year. With Panarin missing time last season due to personal reasons, Strome along with Kreider led the charge offensively for the Rangers and helped pick up the slack.

Re-signing Strome could be vital to the Rangers long term success especially since Filip Chytil has yet to grab the reigns as a top six centerman for the club.

One of the biggest arguments to also keeping Strome now long-term would be due to the fact that the club already locked up Zibanejad and that would effectively take them out of the Jack Eichel sweepstakes.

The Blueshirts could do far worse for a second line center than Ryan Strome, and do you really want to gamble losing him and hoping Chytil finds his footing as a center? Not exactly a worthwhile gamble for a club that envisions competing for a Stanley Cup sooner rather than later.

The cap situation for the Rangers is certainly tight and it’ll continue to only get tighter due to the pay raises due to the kids and Strome, if he’s extended, will see a healthy bump for the 4.5M AAV he currently makes.

With Barkov and Eichel off the table for the Rangers and no real clear upgrade available on the market extending Ryan Strome should move to one of Drury’s top priorities moving forward. Especially after trading Pavel Buchnevich upset some in the room it wouldn’t be good business to move on from not only a well liked player but a good piece of the Rangers roster as well.

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