After years of early morning practices, weekend tournaments and countless hours of training, the road to the NHL Draft is a journey that Matthew Strome has worked towards his entire hockey career. On Saturday, the youngest Strome brother kept up family tradition after bring drafted to the Philadelphia Flyers in the fourth round.
The Stromes are no stranger to the June festivities. The New York Islanders took oldest brother Ryan fifth overall in 2011, while Dylan was picked third by the Arizona Coyotes in 2015. From being thrown in net by his brothers playing ball hockey, to now on his way to the big stage, it’s moments like these where Matthew looks back on with a smile on his face.
“Growing up, it was always fun, there was always something going on,” said Matthew. “Being in net for pretty much all of those, especially ball hockey, just taking a beating from road hockey balls and tennis balls I think really helped me not take anything from other players in my minor hockey days and OHL career.”
Matthew received a lot of advice from his older brothers and was often told that anything can happen – a sentiment that kept the 18-year-old prospect on his toes throughout the draft.
“They said you never know what’s going to happen,” Matthew said. “But they also told me once I get to Chicago to just try and enjoy it and whatever happens, happens.”
Matthew’s two brothers – who are also GTHL grads – weren’t the only ones who helped the Hamilton Bulldogs forward prepare for this year’s draft. Matthew’s Toronto Marlboros Head Coach Dan Brown – father of Toronto Maple Leafs Connor Brown – also played an essential part in helping Matthew develop as a player and a person. Brown’s team first mentality helped Matthew grow as a player during his time in the GTHL. Brown’s experience and wisdom spread throughout the team, eventually landing the Marlboros great success, including an OHL Cup in 2015.
“With him going through everything with his sons, he just knew what to expect and how to react if team talked to you and he was always open for discussion if you ever had any questions about it.”
Matthew’s Marlboros teammate MacKenzie Entwistle was also one of 15 GTHL grads drafted at the 2017 NHL Draft. Click here to see a full list of all GTHL grads drafted.