Meet Ryan Strome; the newest piece of the puzzle on Long Island.
Coming into June 24th as Future Consideration’s eighth ranked prospect, Strome was on top of the world as he awaited the decision on his immediate future. A stunning 106 point season with the OHL’s Niagara Ice Dogs had assured the Mississauga, ON. native a spot within the draft’s top 10. Though he wouldn’t last as long, with Garth Snow and the New York Islanders quickly snatching him up fifth overall.
“I couldn’t be happier right now,” Strome said. “Sitting there, I mean, fifth overall is pretty special. To have my family there, I’m so happy. I saw the emotion. It really is the best day of my life.”
Joining an already youthful team, Strome knows he has the summer to work hard before camp comes. After all, the goal is to make the team from day one; especially when he has help from the Islanders franchise man, and former first overall pick in John Tavares.
“I work out with John, and he already called me as soon as it happened,” the six-foot-one centre said. “I couldn’t be happier. I have a guy to mentor me through the summer. I see him every day. I think I’m in a very good situation.”
But what did John say?
“John just said — he’s been through it not too long ago, so he knows how busy I’m going to be,” the Niagara IceDog relayed. “He just said best of luck. Enjoy it and soak it all in. We’ll have a great summer together and work hard. And I’ll be side by side with him and he’ll show me the ropes, hopefully and I’ll just learn everything I can,” the young pivot explained.
The summer presents the biggest challenge for the kid from Ontario. It’s no secret, to him, or to anybody else, that hard work each off-season is vital to continued growth and development. The first step took work, and paid off with a fifth overall selection. The next step will take more work, as he prepares for the National Hockey League, and his positive attitude will go a long way to reaching that stage.
“Obviously my mindset for the summer is to be ready for training camp,” said Strome. “That’s the way I have to approach it. If I don’t approach it like that, I’ll never be successful.”
While the draft is step one, and step two is still months, or possibly years away; Strome is ready to tackle the final step already.
“I want to grow with the team, and I want to win a championship. I know I’m young saying that, but that’s what you want to do.“
And in order for the Islanders to do that he’ll be a piece of the puzzle.
Brian Huddle is a Future Considerations columnist and can be found on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BrianHuddle. Follow the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed at www.twitter.com/FCHockey, on YouTube at www.youtube.com/futureconsiderations and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FCHockey
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