Isles Grab Strome with Fifth Pick

The New York Islanders selected center Ryan Strome with their first round selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.  He was the fifth selection overall.

The 6-foot, 175 pound native of Mississauga, Ontario, was third in scoring in the OHL with 33 goals  and  73 assists in 65 games with the Niagara IceDogs.

“We have set out a plan to build a young core of players that will consistently compete for the Stanley Cup and Ryan is another key addition to that core,” Isles GM Garth Snow said after Strome was selected. “He is a highly skilled forward who’s been very impressive in his first two OHL seasons.  Ryan’s speed and creativity will help solidify our lineup for years to come.”

Strome had a very impressive 2010-11 season and improved his draft standing with his strong play. Prior to this season, he was projected as a second round pick but nearly all scouts had him in the Top 10 by the end of they year.

One scout told The Hockey News that Strome “competes hard on pucks.  He’s crafty.  When he loses the puck, he works hard to get it back.”  Scouts have also been impressed with the way he creates space on the ice and that he is the type of player who makes those around him better.

Strome is known primarily as a playmaker.  He is probably at least one season away from playing at the NHL level as he still needs to mature physically.

Isles center John Tavares, who is also from Mississauga, is familiar with Strome as the two have skated together for the past few summers.  “His work ethic and the kind of person he is, he’s going to be a great fit here,” Tavares explained. “The way he sees the ice is exceptional and in a few years, I think he can be one of the best players in that aspect of the game.”

Strome was excited to be an Islander.  In an interview with TSN at the draft, he said, “I”m happy they called my name, I love the colors and I think I’ll fit in great there,” he said.

The draft resumes Saturday with rounds two through seven.

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