Jun 24, 2011

Draft: Islanders Select Ryan Strome With 5th Overall Pick

Tonight at the NHL Draft, the New York Islanders selected Niagara IceDogs center Ryan Strome with the 5th overall pick. Strome is a 6'0" 175 pound center, who shoots right, and had 31 goals and 106 points for Niagara in the Ontario Hockey League last season. 

Strome joins Nino Niederreiter, Brock Nelson, John Tavares, Calvin de Haan, Josh Bailey, and Kyle Okposo as first round picks made by the Islanders since 2006.

New York Islanders
CH: I predicted this pick, and I absolutely love it. Strome is a very talented center who has outstanding skills, speed, and shot. He is more of a playmaker than center, and should slide in as the second line center for years to come unless the Islanders move him to right wing. If they move him to the wing, he will be a perfect complement to John Tavares, as not only to their styles complement each other well, but they shoot on opposite sides meaning set-ups will come fairly easy for these two.

Strome knows John Tavares and Matt Moulson from their training in the Mississauga/Oakdale area in Ontario. General Manager Garth Snow said that Tavares gave Strome a great scouting report, which helped his cause. Strome seemed genuinely excited to be picked by the Islanders in his interview with James Duthie, which leads me to believe that Tavares and Moulson told him great things about the organization.

As far as the future goes, Strome is not physically ready for the NHL. I believe the Islanders learned their lesson with Josh Bailey, so I would be absolutely shocked to see Strome in the NHL next season. It's possible that we may not even see him until 2013-14. That said, his potential is outstanding because of his skillset, so it will absolutely be worth the wait. The only downside on Strome is his physicality, but he will have time to grow into his body to make a seamless transition to the NHL.

Next year, Strome will be a leader on the IceDogs and should be an absolute lock for the Canadian World Junior Championship U-20 team. He does have things to work on, but given the amount of character this player has, I'm confident he will improve on the assets that he's lacking a little in.

The Islanders now have one of the top-5 prospect pools in the NHL, and that's not being a homer. Corey Pronman from Hockey Prospectus even suggested the Islanders may have the best prospect line in the NHL. This was an outstanding pick by the New York Islanders as the rebuild is finally ready to take the next step.

AT: I wanted one of Strome, Couturier or Hamilton. I got one. Extremely pleased with this pick. Strome will either be the 2nd line center (imagine the speed of him + Grabner) behind Tavares or will slot in on right wing to feed JT and Matt Moulson. He fits right into organizational need of a playmaker and a sniper and will definitely go back to an already stacked Niagara team. I see little reason that he could or should make the NHL next year. He needs to add some weight and refine his skills a bit and ensure us that this year was not a fluke. With everything we've seen, I can definitely say it was not.

Strome joins an abundance of centers in the Isles organization. Tavares, Bailey, Nielsen, Nelson, Cizikas, Lee, Ullstrom and Strome create a huge influx of organizational depth that should last for years. One of which (most likely Ullstrom or Nelson) can always be expendable as well.

The Islanders will have four more picks in the top 100 tomorrow, including two second round picks (34 and 50), one third round pick (63), and one fourth round pick (94).

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