The New York Islanders have signed their top pick from the 2011 NHL Draft, Ryan Strome, to a three-year, entry-level contract.
Strome was the fifth pick overall back in June, a draft position that was slightly above where the young center was expected to be chosen. Strome turned in a strong showing for the Islanders during that team’s 2011 training camp and preseason games.
In the 2010-11 season, Strome starred for the Niargara Ice Dogs of the OHL. He scored 33 goals and added 73 assists for 106 points in 65 games, and added 6 goals and 6 assists for 12 points in 14 playoff games.
Strome is currently the second-ranked prospect for the New York Islanders according to Hockey’s Future, behind 2010 top pick, Nino Niederreiter. Niederreiter is expected to stick with the Islanders for the 2011-12 season, but Strome could be sent back to his junior club after playing in nine games to avoid having his contract take effect.
The Mississauga, Ontario native is a playmaking center with good creativity and a deft passing touch. Not unlike Wiinipeg Jets top pick, MarK Scheifele, Strome’s game seems to be progressing more rapidly than many of the other players chosen in the 2011 NHL Draft.