Super 18: Ryan Strome Set to Make Islanders Debut

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Sept 29, 2013; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders centre Ryan Strome (18) shoots on Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) in the first period at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday afternoon, the New York Islanders finally made the announcement that a majority of the fan-base had been waiting on for a long, long time.

Ryan Strome, the organization’s fifth overall draft choice in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, had been recalled from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and placed on a one-way ticket to Phoenix, the setting of the Islanders final game of their current five-game road trip.

Strome, the only player remaining from the top-10 of his draft class that had yet to play in an NHL game, is expected to make his NHL debut at Jobing.com Arena against the Phoenix Coyotes.

{EDITORS NOTE : It has now been announced at 2pm that Strome will NOT play this evening, instead possibly Saturday at home against Montreal}

The Islanders prospect had been shredding the AHL during his first professional season. Strome leaves Bridgpeort as the AHL’s leading scorer (33 points) and as the third player in the past 20 years to earn AHL Player of the Week honors in back-to-back weeks (Jim Carey in 1994, Blake Geoffrion in 2011).

Islanders’ fans have every right to be excited about the upcoming debut. Arguably the team’s top prospect, Strome comes to the NHL “hot”, currently on a nine-game point streak. With the Islanders’ offensive unit struggling to find goals outside of its first line (Thomas Vanek, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo), Strome will be expected to, and should be able to, provide Long Island’s hockey team with some much-needed secondary scoring.

While he shouldn’t be expected to be the team’s savior in 2013-14 – the team’s problems run very deep and many were visible in the team’s 3-2 SO win, a victory that ended a ten-game winless streak against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night – Strome should add some excitement for a fan-base that is looking for something (anything) to happen.

Does Strome debut at center on the Islanders second-line? Or does he fill the third line pivot role with fellow youngster Brock Nelson sticking at wing?

Either way, expect Strome to show flashes of brilliance. But also to struggle like a rookie normally would.

Another piece of the Islanders’ bright future has arrived to the NHL. Welcome to the Islanders, Ryan Strome.

-CT

 

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