Strome Eager to Prove Staying Power

Ryan Strome conquered the juniors and the AHL en route to his first Islanders call up.

Wednesday, 12.11.2013 / 4:27 PM ET / News
By Cory Wright
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Strome Eager to Prove Staying Power
Ryan Strome conquered the juniors and the AHL en route to his first Islanders call up.

Since his draft day in 2011, the countdown to Ryan Strome's time on Long Island has been on.

After spending two more seasons in junior, two offseasons training with John Tavares and 33 games in the American Hockey League, Strome got his call. He was brought up by the Islanders Wednesday morning.

“It was a great phone call to get and I will remember it forever,” the newest Islander said. “At the same time there is a lot of work to be done, and I don’t want to just come up for a cup of coffee. I want to show that I belong, help the team win and prove my spot in the line-up. I want to show them that I’m ready to come up and they made the right choice.”

Selected with the fifth-overall pick in the 2011 draft, Strome led the AHL in scoring at the time of his call up, with 33 points (9g/24a) in 23 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Mississauga, Ont., native has 17 points (5g/12a) on a current nine-game point streak.

That type of production was common for Strome in junior hockey, where he posted 295 points in 225 regular-season games, but it was a surprise to see him – or any rookie – dominate the American league right out of the gate.

“From day one, he was on a mission,” Sound Tigers head coach Scott Pellerin said. “Offensively he brought it to a whole new level, one that I haven’t seen in a long, long time. The stretch he’s had was quite amazing.”

Strome was drafted for his high-end playmaking skill. He creates space for himself and teammates with his versatile offensive ability. But to reach his goal of being an effective NHL center, the highly-touted prospect's focus shifted to the defensive side of his game.

“I was constantly watching video and working on all the little things I could to make me better,” he said. “It’s about doing little things everyday and not cutting corners.”

"He’s been able to play smart with and without the puck and sustain that level of consistency in his game.”Scott Pellerin

Coach Pellerin lauded Strome’s character, citing his ability to identify his mistakes, self-correct and form better habits on the ice. An enthusiastic student, Strome absorbed all he could from the Sound Tigers coaching staff and fast-tracked his own development.

“(Pellerin and assistant coach Eric Boguniecki) taught me whatever they could and have been so approachable,” Strome said. “I am very thankful for what they have done for me. That’s the job in the American league, to develop players, and they do a great job of that.”

Developing off the island allowed Strome to mature both physically and mentally before joining the big club. The 2013-version of Strome is bigger and smarter and uses his hockey IQ to protect himself on the ice.

“He knows when to go in and elevate his compete level to win puck battles, but also when to not to put himself in an area where he’s going to get outmuscled or hit,” Pellerin said. “There’s a fine line there, but he’s been able to play smart with and without the puck and sustain that level of consistency in his game.”

Strome scored 1.21 points per game with Bridgeport, and made quick work of the American league, but taking the next step is arguably the hardest, even for a player of his caliber.

“I put up some good numbers in the American league but I don’t think that’s going to come right away in the next level,” he said. “The NHL is the best league in the world and it’s always an adjustment. As a young guy you want to come in and shorten that learning curve and help your team as much as possible. I think I’ve done a good job of preparing myself for this next step.”

The stage is set for Strome. He’s finally been voted onto the island.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 75 34 40 -1 74
R. Strome 74 15 31 19 46
K. Okposo 53 15 31 -10 46
F. Nielsen 74 13 28 9 41
B. Nelson 75 18 22 9 40
A. Lee 69 23 16 14 39
J. Bailey 63 15 23 6 38
J. Boychuk 65 8 25 10 33
T. Hamonic 65 5 25 16 30
N. Leddy 71 10 19 16 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 35 16 2 .915 2.39
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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