New York Islanders: Five Key Factors to Meet Expectation in 2016-17
Ryan Strome’s play this season is going to be integral in the Islanders ability to make good on their expectations. We know John Tavares is going to light up the league with about 70-80 points again this season. So secondary scoring is going to be key for the team to build off of their captain’s heroics.
With Frans Nielsen now gone second line center duties are going to fall to Ryan Strome. In 2014-15, that wouldn’t have sounded like such a daunting proposition. That year, Strome put up 50 points and looked every bit like the 5th overall pick he was.
Related Story: Ryan Strome Signs Two Year Contract
Fast-forward to the end of 2015-16 and giving Strome the second-line sounds very risky. His production fell off a cliff with only 28 points a year after his breakout season.
How to get Strome back to his 2014-15 is a tough question to answer. Does he need to shoot more? He had 47 fewer shots in 2015-16 to 2014-15. But then again he played 10 fewer games after being sent down to the AHL for a two-week stint.
Regardless, the organization is putting faith in Strome. They feel, that under the right circumstances, like playing him at center, he can return to his 2014-15 form. And we as fans better hope their right.
The team’s already slotted Strome alongside 2014-15 congenital hip twin Anders Lee. Both Lee and Strome formed a strong partnership in 2014-15, with Strome netting 20 of his 50 points with Lee at is side.
If the two can click once again than the loss of Frans Nielsen is going to be forgotten quickly.