Strome came to the Rangers in a change of scenery trade for Ryan Spooner in November of 2018. The following year he was given the second line center role with Panarin on his left. In that time, despite COVID-19 shortened seasons, he has set career highs in goals with 19, 18 with Rangers, assists (41) and points (59). He plays while short handed, though more sparingly under Gerard Gallant and has been part of the lethal Rangers power play that is currently ranked second in the NHL.
Strome giveth and taketh away
Not known to be a physical player, Strome does not shy away from the rough stuff either. He has two fighting majors and has been quick to jump to the defense of his teammates. Unfortunately, though, he has taken 59 minor penalties over the last three seasons, tied for most on the team with Ryan Lindgren. To compare, he has taken 22 more minors than the next closest forward, Chris Kreider, who has taken 37 over the same span.
Another unfortunate blight on his Ranger record is his lack of effectiveness in the faceoff circle. Over the past three seasons, Strome’s faceoff winning percentage is just 45.15%. Among those who regularly take faceoff’s, he is better than only Filip Chytil (40.48%) during this span. Worse still is that both this and last season his winning percentage has been below his average, regressing from a 47.5% high with the Rangers set in the 2019-20 season.
Andrew Copp came to the New York Rangers from the Winnipeg Jets at the trade deadline for a package of draft picks. Since his acquisition Copp has produced at better than a point per game pace with three goals and seven assists, for ten points in nine games. Copp’s most productive year with Winnipeg was last season, where he scored 39 points in 55 games, a 58 point pace over 82 games. This season, between both teams, he has set career highs in goals (16), assists (29) and points (45).
Copp is a well disciplined player having taken just 23 minors over the past three seasons, with no majors or misconducts. He has taken four minor penalties in his nine games with the Rangers. He played heavily on both the power play and penalty kill for the Jets and has already seen more than two minutes of penalty kill time on ice per game with the Rangers and was used on the first power play unit while Strome missed four games to injury.
Copp an artist at the draw
Perhaps his most promising attribute, Copp has recorded a career 52.0% winning percentage in the faceoff circle. With his acquisition, the Rangers were immediately improved at the dot. The Rangers have controlled the corsi possession metrics in eight of nine games Copp has been with the Rangers. Simply put, win more faceoff’s and control a greater portion of the play.