Flyers Draft: Catching up with LW Matthew Strome, a potential late first-round trade target

Matthew Strome of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

The Philadelphia Flyers will swing for the fences with 11 picks in the 2017 NHL Draft. It all starts with the second overall pick, then to ten other picks after that. The only clear indication of what player the Flyers are going to select in any round is their first pick. However, there are tons of talent late in the first round.

To help further aid the Flyers problems with scoring, it could be highly probable they trade up to snag a winger late in the first round.  Just who may the Flyers have their eyes on? Meet Left Wing Matthew Strome who currently plays for the Hamilton Bulldogs in the OHL. I was fortunate to conduct a phone interview with him, and he seems determined to be successful in the NHL.

Strome was born on January 6, 1999, in Mississauga, ON, CAN. Like most kids in Canada, he started playing hockey at a young age. His passion for the game found himself playing for the Hamilton Bulldogs in the 2015-16 season. For the season he registered 16 goals, and 22 assists for a total of 38 points in 61 games played. After a decent season with the Bulldogs, just who is this up and coming prospect?

I just focus on getting better. I go the gym to get bigger, stronger, and faster. This year I will work on getting bigger. I need to get bigger, so I could play the game for a long period of time. I work out, I’m a hard worker. Whether, it would be focusing on my hands by throwing a ball, or whether that would be getting better by skating on a pond.”

Strome continued, “I’m a speedy player. I’m willing to sacrifice all parts of my body for success.”

The young 18 year old prospect busted his butt in the offseason to improve his game. His hard work paid off in a big way, as he enjoyed a career year for the Bulldogs in 2016-17. For the season he tallied 34 goals, and 28 assists for 62 points in 66 games played. This really solidified his status for the upcoming NHL Draft. One would expect his nerves to be through the roof with being on the cusp of the NHL. However, Strome offers a different point of view.

Were all very excited for the draft. My family has had their plane ticket booked for the past month. I’m planning on purchasing a ticket too. I’m hoping to go in the first round, so I’m wishing for the best. My family couldn’t be more happy and proud.”

If you saw Strome play for the Bulldogs last season, one would have noticed instantly that his hockey IQ vastly improved from the prior year. He is a big skilled winger that plays a complete and consistent game. His success was fueled by not only his dedication for the game, but by his family as well.

My family has always been there for me, and they are a big part of my life. I wouldn’t have gotten to this point without them. My mom loves me to pieces. I try to make them proud. They went with me to practice rinks from 6:30 till 9 at night. Even playing for the midgets minor league team. They came to every game, and it didn’t start till 9:30 at night. I didn’t expect them to do it, but they did.”

Strome continued, “My dad usually texts me before the game. He texts about things I should keep an eye on to help me for the game. My mom texts, and she usually texts me good luck. I appreciate my dad looking out for me. I have complete faith in him.”

Strome looked really confident in 2016-17 for the Bulldogs. He just looked like a different player, who worked very hard in the 2015-16 off season. The off season even brought Strome back to his childhood days, and that may have helped his game.

Watching my brother play hockey when he was younger kind of motivated me to play. I took somethings he was doing, and I tried to learn from them. We were very competitive when we were younger, and it helped me develop into the player I am today.”

The Flyers are starving for natural goal scoring left wingers. Strome may be the answer to their prayers. He’s a gifted young prospect that has what it takes to be a Flyer. Just listen to this message from Strome, “I take nothing for granted. I’m simple I just love steak (Laughing). I will do everything possible to show everyone that they have selected a coveted player. I’m a hardworker, and I’m going to do the best I can.”

He will definitely be on the Flyers radar, and trading up to select Strome might be the Flyers first trade at the draft. His passion and dedication to the game could have instant ramifications in the Flyers locker room.

Follow me on Twitter @JameyBaskow for all Flyers updates.

 

Mandatory Photo Credit: Terry Wilson/OHL Images

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