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Strome Right on Track

Islanders' Prospect Ready for Next Step

Wednesday, 05.16.2012 / 6:17 PM / News
By Travis Betts
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Strome Right on Track
Islanders prospect Ryan Strome is taking all the right steps to get to the National Hockey League

Islanders prospect Ryan Strome is taking all the right steps to get to the National Hockey League.

The Islanders selected the Mississauga, ON, native with the fifth overall selection in the 2011 NHL Draft, following his sophomore campaign with the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League. Strome finished that season ranked third in the league with 73 assists and 106 points.

Strome, who turned 18 last summer, participated in Islanders training camp, and remained with the team after the final round of cuts. The Islanders, whose farm system was ranked no. 3 in the league by Hockey’s Future, decided to keep their top prospect with the team for two games to get a taste of the NHL before returning him to Niagara. Despite facing what many players would consider a demotion, Strome viewed it as an opportunity to improve his entire game.

“I wanted to become more of a two-way player and become more of a leader on my team and work on my all-around game, and I think I did that,” Strome said, at the conclusion of the 2011-12 season. “I feel like I’m a much more well-rounded player.”

Strome was able to do so without sacrificing his offensive game. The 6’0”, 183-pound center started his third year of major junior competition with a hat trick against Belleville and strung together a 13-game scoring streak (11 goals, nine assists) to begin the season. Strome’s Niagara teammate and fellow Islanders prospect Mitchell Theoret, believes Strome’s time in the NHL gave him a boost.

“When Ryan came back, he was more focused,” Theoret said. “You could see he had more of a pro mindset. The way he came to the rink every morning and did his workouts, it was very professional. For him, it was just all toward making the Islanders next season.”

Strome represented Canada in the World Junior Championship tournament in December and January, contributing three goals and six assists in six games and leading the Canadians to a bronze medal. Back with his club team, on March 12 Strome registered four assists in a 10-3 rout of Belleville, and followed that with a five-goal, one-assist effort the next night against Erie.

When asked about it, Strome downplays his gaudy numbers, focusing instead on his attempts to be a multi-faceted player.

I want to make it hard for them to send me back. - Ryan Strome

“I just want to go out there and do the best for my team, whether it’s setting up guys or scoring goals,” Strome said. “If I have a playmaker on my line, I think I can be a scorer, but if I have a scorer, I can be a playmaker.”

Theoret, the Islanders 7th round pick in 2011, was less shy about Strome’s ability to produce offensively.

“He’s just a natural talent,” Theoret said. “He’s great with the puck. He’s a great skater and he’s a great playmaker. He has vision that is second to none. He’s just a special kind of talent and that’s hard to come by.”

After scoring 30 goals and 38 assists this season, Strome helped lead the IceDogs to the best record in the OHL’s Eastern Conference and eventually a trip to the OHL Championship against the London Knights. While Niagara lost the final series in five games, Strome posted 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) in 20 post-season games.

After such a productive season in juniors, Strome has his focus on training and getting in the best possible shape for next season – maybe in the NHL.

“I just want to give myself the absolute best chance I can to make the Islanders,” Strome said. “I want to make it hard for them to send me back, if that’s what they’re going to do. I’ve just got to come in now and play the best I can.”

READ: OHL Playoffs blog | Strome at the 2012 Islanders Draft Party | IIHF World Championships blog

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
6 DET 59 33 15 11 173 154 77
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 58 25 23 10 166 161 60
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 62 29 34 4 63
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 62 13 26 21 39
B. Nelson 62 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 62 11 25 11 36
A. Lee 56 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 50 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 52 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 62 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 52 4 19 16 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 32 13 0 .910 2.49
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95

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