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Strome Delivering For Capitals, Finally Hitting Stride: ‘I’m Getting Put In A Position To Succeed’

Dylan Strome said that he’s feeling at home with the Washington Capitals, and since he’s joined the team, he’s been playing some of the best hockey of his career.



ARLINGTON, V.A. — Back in July, Dylan Strome found himself without a contract for the first time in his career after the Chicago Blackhawks elected to let him walk. While taking the pressure off with some summer golf, Strome was driving down the first fairway when his phone rang with a one-year "prove it" deal from the Washington Capitals. Fast forward to now, and he's not only a key member of the team, but he's arguably playing the best hockey of his career.

Strome, who was the third-overall pick in 2015, had previous stops with the Arizona Coyotes and Blackhawks. And though he put up one 50-point season, a 20-goal season and a couple of 40-point campaigns at the highest level, he couldn't find consistency. So far through 30 games in D.C., he is second on the team in scoring with 22 points in 30 games, and he is on pace for a career-high 60 points. He has also been striking a balance of consistency and showcasing his talent while taking on a bigger role with the team missing Nicklas Backstrom down the middle.

When it comes to his performance this season, the 25-year-old says a lot of it has to do with accountability and the trust he's gotten from the coaching staff and organization.

"I definitely feel comfortable here," Strome said. "I feel like I'm getting put in a position to succeed, and I'm trying to make the best of it, take the most of it and make the most of it."

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Strome also took the opportunity for a center job and ran with it, and then won the job running the half wall on the top power-play unit. His 11 power-play points rank second on the team.

But, beyond what he brings to the table offensively, he has impressed his teammates with his strong play in the face-off dot, speed, vision and skating.

"I definitely like a smart center, and that's what Strome brings," Sonny Milano said.

"He's got a pretty good one or two steps or one or two crossovers where it's deceiving, almost," T.J. Oshie added of No. 17. "I don't want to say just like Kuzy, but similar to Kuzy. Where you think he's not really trying to break through you, and all the sudden, he's going by you."

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Strome will be an RFA at the end of the season, and so far, he has done plenty to show that he has earned a longer stay. But for now, he's not focused on that. He's having fun, making his family and himself at home in D.C. and focusing on helping the Capitals get back in the playoff race. He is making his return to Chicago on Tuesday, where he will look to further send the message to his former club that they should have kept him on board.

"Dylan's played really well for us. He's had a terrific start and it's always exciting when you come back in to your  building you played in and have a lot of memories here, but for us, he's been excellent with his game."

And, as he continues to play to his full potential, he credits his teammates and the locker room for the help along the way.

"The guys are really, really helpful and easy to be around and fun to play with," Strome said. "There's a big belief in this group. Hopefully, we can put something together here."