You clinched the scoring title with a 6 point performance on the last game of the season, how important was it for you to capture the title?
It was pretty cool, it was just kinda a pretty cool way to cap off a pretty fun year. It was a a cool way to end the regular season and definitely pretty happy.
Your brother Matthew scored the OT winner in the OHL Cup Championship game, did you give him any advice going into the game?
Not too much. He’s done well all year, so I just said have fun and play your game. I watched the whole thing here in my house in Erie. He did good and I was really proud of him.
Can you describe to me your OHL Cup experience?
It was pretty good, we lost our first game but ended up moving on to the finals. We beat Elgin Middlesex in the quarterfinals and then we be TPH Thunder in the semifinals and then we ended up losing to Oakville in the finals. It was a pretty cool experience, but both my other brothers got to win and I kinda drew the stink there and didn’t win but it was fun.
All 3 Strome brothers spent their entire minor hockey careers playing for the Toronto Marlboros. How did playing for them affect your development?
Its a good organization, they expect to win and don’t expect anything less. Its a world class organization, the best players in Toronto go there for a reason cause its a good team and they love to win. I was part of 6 GTHL championships, I think Ryan was apart of 7 and my little brother Matt was apart of 2 or 3, so a lot in the family and we’re definitely proud to say we’re Marlies for life.
You were drafted 2nd overall in the OHL draft, did you feel any pressure as a player on being drafted so high?
Not too much, we have a pretty high profile team here in Erie last year and it was pretty fun just to come in and see everyone and what they do and stuff like that and get comfortable with the league. I wasn’t too nervous or anything like that coming into the season, I was just kinda trying to have as much fun as possible and it worked out pretty well. I’m happy.
What would you say were the biggest differences from playing Minor Midget hockey to OHL hockey?
All the guys are older, there aren’t too many guys your own age in the league. Its faster and you’re living away from home. You don’t get the luxury of going home and talking to Dad after every game, or Mom. Its different. You gotta get used to it but at the end of the day its fun. You’re doing what you do, living away from home, and living the dream. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.
You improved your point production drastically from 39 points in your rookie season to 123 this year. What do you think were some of the reasons for the increase?
I think just opportunity, and confidence. It was a fun year last year but obviously this year gave more opportunities, more chances. I just had fun and it just worked out.
Tell me about your relationship with Connor McDavid, are you guys competitive which each other?
We’re good friends, there’s not too much competition between us. We both hope the other guy does well and we both support each other all the time. He’s one of my best friends, so I’m gonna be there for him on draft day and I’m sure he’ll be there for me. We’re looking forward to it but right now we’re focusing on the playoffs.
How was it playing a portion of the season without Connor McDavid, as your team captain?
It was only about 20 games so it wasn’t too bad. We got used to it, but we like having him back in the lineup a lot more. We’re proud with what he did at World Juniors and brought the Gold back to Canada, we’re proud of him for that. Its just nice to have him back now.
Did you find you had to adjust your game at all during his absence?
No, not too much. Everyone just stepped up, we couldn’t let one player effect our whole team. I think we were still about 5 games above .500 when he was gone, so that’s pretty good. We just had as much fun as possible and obviously everyone had to work a bit harder cause he was gone, but we managed and we were okay.
Describe what it’s like to play for the Erie Otters, a team that has been ranked so highly in the CHL all year.
Its pretty cool, it was the same thing last year, but obviously the end of the year didn’t turn out as well as we wanted it to. Hopefully this year we’re hoping for a little better. Its fun, I live in a different country then I’m used to, the whole thing is pretty cool. There’s a great fan base here and we have a lot of fun with the guys. Everything is working out so we can keep going in playoffs.
Your an assistant captain with the Otters, how do you feel about being placed in leadership role positions?
Its pretty cool, obviously there’s not too many older guys, well not too many at the start, so I got a chance to wear the assistant captain for a little bit there. Its pretty cool to have the younger guys and first year guys look up to you. Its pretty cool and I’ve only been in the league for one year but it definitely helps with the other guys and make them better players and better people so they can do the same thing later in their future.
You have your older brother, Ryan playing in the NHL, what kind of guidance has he provided you with?
A little bit, we talk a lot. He’s really good to me. He kinda lets me to do my thing and learn for myself and stuff like that. He tells me some tips here and there about games and stuff and other things like that. But for the most part we kinda just talk about other things and when hockey comes up, it comes up. We’re pretty good to each other.
Do you have any nerves about the draft?
No, I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited. Its been a long wait, and its been a long season. Its gonna be fun. I have no idea whats going to happen, what team I’m going to end up on, or where I’m going to get drafted, or what’s going to happen. I’m just looking forward to it. I guess we’ll see when that day comes hopefully.