IceDogs forward Ryan Strome has been selected by the New York Islanders with the 5th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft tonight at the Xcel Energy Centre in St. Paul, Minnesotta.
The 6'0", 183 lbs., Mississauga native enjoyed a remarkable sophomore OHL season, finishing third in league scoring with 106 points (33 goals and a franchise record 73 assists) in 65 games. If not for a late season concussion that cost him three games, there is a very good chance he would have equalled Tyler Seguin's rare feat of leading the OHL in scoring in his draft season. Overall Strome has accumulated 41 goals and 92 assists for 133 points in only 126 career OHL games.
Strome's remarkable season has really seen his draft stock skyrocket, with Ryan starting the year being perceived as having an outside shot at the first round, before moving up to the 19th ranking North American skater in NHL Central Scouting's Mid-Term rankings and finally finishing the season as the eighth rated North American skater in the final rankings. Strome has since continued his meteoric rise in the rankings, all the way up to his selection 5th overall tonight.
Strome's high selection continues a string of recognition for his strong play. In the OHL's Eastern Conference Coaches Poll, Strome finished alone atop two categories, Most Improved Player and Best Playmaker, and tied for tops in Best Stickhandler with 2010 NHL Draft Pick Ryan Spooner. That stickhandling was on display in an October game against Plymouth, where Strome grabbed nationwide attention for a highlight reel goal that went viral on YouTube, picking up over 300,000 views. Strome has continued to get noticed lately, receiving an invitation to Hockey Canada's National Junior Team Development Camp next month, where he will try and make a positive impression in hopes of getting a chance to represent Canada at the World Junior Championships come December.
This season has seen Strome rewarded for his hard work and dedication and while the 106 points and the recognition was nice, the honour of being selected so high in the NHL Entry Draft is the ultimate reward.
The entire IceDogs organization would like to congratulate Ryan on his selection. The Islanders have got themselves a great player and we look forward to seeing Ryan in the NHL in the coming years!