In the second true hockey trade of the past few days, the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers exchanged struggling forwards named Ryan. So in case you missed it, Ryan Strome is now a Ranger, while Ryan Spooner is an Oiler.
The two forwards also share identical stat lines, with a goal and an assist each. Not that it matters much, but Spooner’s total is in two fewer games (16) than Strome (18). So this is the good old “change of scenery” trade, where both teams are hoping for better results from their middle-six forwards.
Although Spooner did not enter the NHL as highly touted as Strome, he should be considered the better scorer of the two. Spooner had some late-season success with the Rangers after being acquired in the Rick Nash trade from the Bruins, scoring 16 points (4g-12a) in 20 games to finish the season. Strome, meanwhile, failed to take advantage of his opportunity on the Oilers’ top line, finishing his only full season with the Oilers with 34 points in 82 games after being acquired for Jordan Eberle last summer.
Don’t rush to the waiver wire to pick up either of these forwards. But if you had to bet on one to rebound offensively, take Spooner. He has spent some time on the first-unit power play in the past, and his ability in the faceoff circle (57% this season) might benefit the Oilers’ first-unit power play. He might also be given a turn on the Oilers’ top line if he moves to the wing.
Strome plays more of an all-around game than Spooner. That’s something that could serve the Rangers well in real life, but won’t matter to fantasy teams as much. Strome led all Oilers’ forwards in SHTOI/GP (1:42). There’s a small chance he could find his scoring touch in NYC, but the Rangers appear committed to a youth movement, which would make Strome more of a middle-6 secondary scoring option going forward.
Fantasy owners are already discussing this trade in the Forum – give your take here!
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