Strome would not just be playing hockey at the rink, as his two younger brothers are also involved in the Toronto Marlies organization. There would always be a game of road hockey available in the Strome household with all three boys determined to win. This competitiveness within the Strome household helped Ryan compete harder at the rink which got him to where he is today. Brother Dylan is currently playing in Bantam and is expected to be drafted to the OHL in 2013.
During Ryan’s minor midget OHL draft year I was able to see him play many times and he was not the first player I noticed while watching his team play. He is not the type of player who jumps out at you in every game. He relies on his smart play and his high-end hockey IQ. I did not realize how good he was until I watched him play a couple of times. His passing is second to none which is one big reason why he was drafted by the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League 8th overall by General Manager/Coach Marty Williamson.
Strome’s first year in the OHL was one that came with many new challenges and hurdles that were new to Ryan. He was coming into a team that was a favorite to make a run at the league title. He was starting the year on the third line and not getting the kind of ice time he probably wanted to develop into the player he had the potential to be. After getting 14 points in 34 games the Colts traded him to the Niagara Icedogs as part of a package to get highly rated NHL prospect Alex Pietrangelo. Ever since that trade Strome has not looked back. The next year which was his draft year he was back with his old coach from Barrie Marty Williamson as Marty left Barrie to take charge in Niagara. Marty gave Strome lots of quality ice time and he finished the year with an astonishing 106 points.
Following that big season, where he put up huge numbers many scouts had Strome ranked anywhere from 4th to 8th for the NHL Entry Draft. The New York Islanders had the 5th pick and needed someone who could set up their franchise player John Tavares for many years to come. It seemed like a good fit and with that pick they took Strome who they feel one day will make an outstanding 1-2 punch with Tavares and put fear into opposing goalies. Tavares also played for the same Marlies AAA organization growing up and lived in the next town over from Strome in Oakville.
Since getting drafted, the Islanders felt he had a chance at making the team out of camp but felt it was better not to rush Strome into being an 18-year-old rookie. In my opinion they made the right choice as they have rushed many prospects in the past and most have not worked out.
Strome, like many players coming back from a pro camp had a hard time adjusting back to the OHL play and his stats are not what people were expecting this year so far. Even at the selection camp for the world juniors many felt Strome should not have even made the team because of his weak play in the intra squad games. The Canadian Team felt he had too much talent to leave off the roster and he did not disappoint playing on the top line and ended the tourney among the team leaders in points.
New York Islanders fans may think they don’t have a very good team right now, but just be patient as the Strome/Tavares show should be starting shortly.