2022-23 Team: Youngstown Phantoms
Date of Birth: February 27, 2005
Place of Birth: Beach Park, Illinois, USA
Height: 5-foot-11, Weight: 185 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: First Year Eligible
- NHL CS (NA Skaters): 44th
- FC Hockey: 47th
- TSN/Bob McKenzie: 54th
- Dobber Prospects: 64th
- Smaht Scouting: 53rd
- THW (Horn): 51st
Andrew Strathmann is a two-way defenseman who isn’t particularly flashy on offense but has enough offensive sense and good enough skating mechanics to be very effective in the USHL this year. He walks the blue-line well and can get passes through tough lanes from the top of the zone, which makes him especially valuable on the powerplay where he excelled for the Phantoms throughout the regular season and playoffs.
Despite his below average height (5-foot-11), Strathmann is a decent defender because of how hard he competes and his skating. He battles hard along the boards and backchecks like his life depends on it. Strong skating ability and two-way effort/energy are some of the most important attributes in NHL defenders, and those are Strathmann’s best qualities.
Strathmann doesn’t get frazzled by oncoming forecheckers, confidently skating or passing the puck out of his defensive zone with good puck protection instincts and stretch passes. His physical play is more advanced than you would typically expect from a sub-6-foot defender, as he bangs around a bit and is hard to play against in board battles. Strathmann’s offensive game is at its best when he’s posted at the point, with the freedom to walk the blueline to open up passing lanes that he hits consistently.
The biggest area for improvement for Strathmann is his decision making in the offensive zone, as he does turn the puck over regularly while trying difficult, and sometimes inadvisable, passes. He typically doesn’t overcommit himself before these occur, staying close to the blue line most of the time, which allows him to defend the play following a turnover, but reducing these unnecessary plays by choosing smarter, easier plays would be a positive change.
Strathmann will be spending next season in the USHL once again, before moving on to the NCAA, with a commitment to the University of North Dakota for the 2024-25 season. He will very likely be one of the best defenders in the USHL next season, and I think his game will translate well to the NCAA as well, especially following another year of growth and development.
Related: 2023 NHL Draft Guide
As one of their highest minute players, Strathmann was a huge piece for Team USA at both the World Junior A Challenge as well as the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. He scored five points between 10 games split at those two tournaments, and played a ton of high-leverage minutes.
In 56 regular season games, Strathmann scored 38 points, the eighth most among all USHL defenders. Only three of those points were goals which makes sense because his shot doesn’t project to be particularly dangerous and he mostly focuses on playmaking when he does get the puck. His 35 assists tied him for 15th in the entire USHL to give you a picture of how his playmaking stacks up against his competition, even as a draft eligible player.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Andrew Strathmann – NHL Draft Projection
Strathmann will benefit from recency bias as the USHL playoffs were some of the last junior hockey to be played this year, and his team ended up winning the Clark Cup. Even without that, I believe Strathmann would be in consideration for many teams in the second round this year. I expect he’ll be drafted in the 55-70 range in this year’s draft, with room to jump even further up if a team believes they can unlock even more offensive potential in his game.
“An offensive minded defenseman who likes to be creative with the puck on his stick.” – Clare McManus, SmahtScouting
“Strathmann is a competitive and talented defenceman who can make plays on the puck, distributes it well, can run a power play, but also plays a hard, challenging style that plays bigger and stronger than he looks” – Scott Wheeler, The Athletic (2023 NHL Draft ranking: Scott Wheeler’s top 100 is divided into six tiers, June 5, 2023)
“Strathmann’s playmaking isn’t outstanding, but he sees the ice well, can find open teammates and make quality passes at both ends of the ice. He lacks ideal size at 5 feet 11, but he plays hard, he’s not a pushover physically, and his skating gives him a chance to defend versus men despite his frame.” – Corey Pronman, The Athletic (2023 NHL Draft ranking: Connor Bedard leads Corey Pronman’s tiers of the top 142 prospects, May 30, 2023)
- Strong and skilled skater
- High motor defender
- In-zone offense
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Continue to put on muscle to aid in puck battles
- Tone down playmaking risks
Strathmann looks like a safe bet to be a bottom pairing defender in the NHL, with good enough skating and compete to be an everyday pro. However, if he can take a bit of a step forward on either side of the ice, then there’s a good chance he makes it as a second pairing guy.
Risk – 1/5, Reward – 2.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 6.5/10, Defense – 5/10
Awards & Achievements
- 2021-22: USHL All-Rookie Team
- 2022-23: WJAC-19 Champion
- 2022-23: USHL Clark Cup Champion