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Strome Staying On Course

First-Year Pro Embracing His Opportunity At Rookie Camp

Friday, 09.06.2013 / 4:47 PM / News
By Corey Hersch
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Strome Staying On Course
Ryan Strome and 30 other Islanders prospects hit the ice Friday, Sep. 6 for Islanders Rookie Camp at Nassau Coliseum

NHL Draft picks, even those taken in the first round, often have to wait a while to get their shot. For the fifth overall pick in 2011, forward Ryan Strome, the dream is getting closer and closer.

“Obviously you’ve been skating all summer, but the intensity really picks up now,” Strome said after his first on-ice session at Islanders Rookie Camp. “You’re trying to prepare for Camp and the season, and this is the best way to do it.”

The 20-year-old spent four seasons of junior hockey in the OHL, mostly with the Niagara Ice Dogs. His most productive offensive season came in 2010-11, in which he scored 106 points (33 goals, 73 assists) in 65 games. Strome’s impressive year was rewarded with a high selection by the Islanders, though the organization elected to keep him with Niagara to continue his development.

“Obviously, you never want to get set down from anywhere and always want to play at the highest level,” he said. “But it’s about a 15-year career, not a one or two-year career. It’s better to climb the ladder slowly and stay there than get to the top quick and fall off.”

Following the 2011 Draft, Strome stayed with Niagara through the 2012-13 season. In his final three years of juniors, Strome scored a combined 268 points (97 goals, 171 assists). After the Ice Dogs’ season ended in 2012-13, he quickly jumped into the fray with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, scoring seven points (two goals, five assists) in 10 American Hockey League games.

“That was huge to know what that’s like, coming to the rink every day as a pro and putting your time in,” Strome said. “It was good to play with guys who are hopefully going to be a part of this organization for a long time and gain that chemistry. I’d say that was one of the biggest things to help my development in the past few years.”

Strome wasted no time making an impact in Bridgeport, scoring a goal and an assist in his first game as a pro, a 4-2 Sound Tigers win on April 2.

“It was really nice to get the monkey off my back early,” he said. “It definitely made the transition easier. The guys are always going to respect you a little bit more when you’re putting up numbers to help out the team.”

During the offseason, Strome spent the summer training with someone with whom he shares a lot in common, John Tavares. The two were both recent top picks of the Islanders (Tavares was a the No. 1 overall pick in 2009) and also hail from the same town, Mississauga, Ont.

“He’s really someone that I strive to be like and to work as hard as he does,” Strome said. “It was great to be able to be with him every day and learn some things off the ice as well as keep up with him. You just try to soak up everything you can.”

The two had worked together a bit over the past few offseasons, but this summer it became more of a one-on-one study session.

“You can never learn too much from a guy like that,” Strome continued, “especially someone who has accomplished so much at such a young age.”

Now in his third Rookie Camp with the Islanders and preparing for his first full season as a professional, Strome is getting more and more comfortable as a member of the organization. He understands nothing is guaranteed, however, and won’t let his status as a top draft pick allow him to feel complacent.

“I’m just going to go out and do my best every time out there,” Strome said. “I’ll work hard and when the time comes [to talk about the upcoming season], we will.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 64 41 18 5 172 142 87
2 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
3 NYI 65 41 21 3 207 182 85
4 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 65 35 20 10 193 162 80
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
10 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
11 PHI 64 27 25 12 170 186 66
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 65 30 35 4 65
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 65 14 28 23 42
B. Nelson 65 17 20 7 37
F. Nielsen 65 11 25 13 36
A. Lee 59 21 13 13 34
J. Bailey 53 13 19 11 32
J. Boychuk 55 7 23 14 30
N. Leddy 65 8 18 16 26
T. Hamonic 55 4 21 16 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 1 .911 2.47
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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