The Numbers Game: Dylan Tsherna Dawns #18
Brantford Bulldogs 2nd round selection in the 2023 OHL Priority Selection Draft, Dylan Tsherna has decided to dawn the #18 in black & gold, last worn by former Bulldogs captain, 2018 OHL Champion & 2023 Calder Cup Champion Matthew Strome. Tsherna will become only the second Bulldog to carry the #18 and will look to replicate the same OHL success of his predecessor.
Originally selected 8th overall in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection Draft from the Toronto Marlboros Matthew Strome arrived with the Bulldogs carrying an already incredible resume. Winning the GTHL Championship, OHL Gold Cup & OHL Cup in 2015, while captaining the powerhouse Marlboros, expectations were immediately high for the towering left winger and Strome never failed to impress in his time with the Bulldogs.
Beginning in the 2015-16 season, Strome set a Bulldogs benchmark as a rookie by recording 16 goals & 22 assists for 38 points in 61 games. Though Arthur Kaliyev would re-set the Bulldogs record for goals and points by a rookie, Strome still holds the record for assists in a rookie season for the Dogs. Off the scoresheet, Strome showed an immediate ability to play an advanced role both for his intelligence and leadership, quickly becoming a trusted part of the Bulldogs core. Strome also earned the honour to represent Canada for the 1st time in the 15-16 season, being named to the U-17 World Hockey Championship with Team Canada Black.
The 2016-17 season saw Strome take a massive jump, leading the Bulldogs in all offensive categories with 34 goals & 28 assists for 62 points in 66 games during the season and another goal and 7 assists for 8 points in 7 playoff games. Strome again earned the honour to represent Canada, this time at the U18 World Hockey Championship where he skated alongside teammate and friend MacKenzie Entwistle and posted 1 goal & 2 assists for 3 points as well as the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament scoring a goal in 4 games. Strome’s strong first pair of seasons led him to be selected in the 4th round, 106th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
The 2017-18 season again saw Strome help to lead the way offensively posting a team best 37 goals to go along with 31 assists for 68 points in 65 games, adding another 4 goals & 14 assists for 18 points in 20 playoff games on route to winning the 2018 OHL Championship.
Strome finished his time with the Bulldogs in the 2018-19 season, serving as captain while posting 28 goals and co-leading the team with 51 assists for 79 points while appearing in all 68 regular season games and all 4 playoff games with 2 goals & 2 assists. Strome wrapped up his Bulldogs career as the franchise’s all-time leader in games played with 260 and now sits second in goals, assists & points with 115-132-247.
After his OHL career, Strome has gone on to play in 182 games at the professional level, mainly split between the Lehigh Valley Phantoms & Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League including the 2022-23 season with the Bears, winning the AHL’s Calder Cup.
When asked about his time with the Bulldogs and his thoughts on Dylan Tsherna wearing the #18 that he had such a successful run in, Matt Strome said to us:
“Just embrace the time you’ll be with the Bulldogs. It was, and is, an honour to play for them and their 2 (OHL) Championships in the last 4 years show the incredible organization you are joining. Be a great teammate and a great part of your billet family because they will help you grow up and you will learn so much from them like I did. I keep in contact with my billets still they’re like a second family to me. Embrace what it means to be part of the team and welcome to the Bulldogs!!”
Standing at the beginning of his OHL career, Dylan Tsherna, like his predecessor brings plenty of excitement to the Bulldogs. The fleet-footed right winger with a nose for the net arrives in Brantford after leading the Don Mills Flyers U16AAA in scoring with 18 goals & 16 assists for 34 points in 31 games while adding another goal and assist in 4 OHL Cup games.
Navigating the ice with ease and playing the game with a high skill and intelligence combination, Tsherna also brings a physical edge to the Bulldogs. Never afraid to make his presence felt right in front of the net, Tsherna showed at Bulldogs Development Camp why scouts were so high on him to make him the 34th overall selection.
When asked about his choice to wear the #18, Tsherna told us:
“I’ve been wearing #18 since the first day I put a jersey on and have been lucky enough to hold onto it my entire career. 18 is my lucky number and I’m honoured to continue my journey with it in Brantford.”.
When asked about being the first Bulldog to wear the #18 since Matthew Strome, Tsherna said:
“It’s an honour to have the opportunity to wear #18 for the Brantford Bulldogs and follow in the footsteps of former captain Matt Strome. I’m looking forward to every moment.”.
The Brantford Bulldogs are also looking forward to every moment of Dylan Tsherna advancing the history of the #18 in our franchise & carving his own path as he begins his OHL career.