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Ryan Strome probably won’t play for Islanders before returning to juniors

Oct 6, 2011, 2:42 PM EDT

Ryan Strome Getty Images

When you’re an 18 year-old kid cracking an NHL roster fresh out of junior hockey and the NHL draft, it makes for exciting times for the team and player. After all, you’ve got to do a lot to impress the coach and GM to get the call.

In Ryan Strome’s case with the New York Islanders, he’s staying around Long Island for the experience not so much for the playing time.

Arthur Staple of New York Newsday reports that Strome’s stay in New York is one that won’t be for all that long as he’s ticketed to go back to junior hockey and he’s not even likely to see any time on the ice on top of it all.

“He’s learned a lot so far, from the rookie camp to the rookie games to playing games against NHL players in the preseason, and we want him to keep on learning, being around all our guys,” coach Jack Capuano said. “He’s one of those kids who gets it. He understands, he evaluates himself and he knows he’s here to soak it all up.”

Strome played in three of the five preseason games and the only time he made the stat sheet was when he received a boarding major and a game misconduct for a hit from behind on the Devils’ Stephen Gionta on Friday. But Capuano liked what he saw, and Strome just liked being a part of his first NHL camp.

“Everything now is just an added bonus,” he said.

Getting to stick around and get a taste of what NHL life is like isn’t the worst thing to do for a kid in Strome’s position. The junior hockey season is barely under way and having him see what it’s like to be coached in the pros and live the pro life for as short of a time as he’ll be around (Staple says he could be sent back when Nino Niederreiter is off IR) will help him out when it’s time for camp next year and he can make a more legitimate run at starting.

Not every player out of juniors is going to get that shot at playing, but in Strome’s case the Isles are doing it for a higher purpose to prepare him for the seasons to come. Say what you will about how the Islanders are doing things and how they’ve been as an organization over the past few seasons, but they’re doing things right now.

  1. bcisleman - Oct 6, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    I understand that Ryan may not get a lot of ice time, but it really doesn’t make sense to keep him on the roster if he won’t get ANY ice time. Nino got his share last year and I see no reason why Ryan should be any different.

    The Islanders have suffered from chronic Milbury-itis. Mike Milbury ran this team so badly for so long that folks are just used to thinking of the team as poorly run. It didn’t help that Garth started his tenure in the immediate wake of the Neil Smith debacle, started his regime by having to endorse the infamous Contract with RDP, and had no management experience. I won’t say that he’s made no mistakes, but he’s made far more good decisions than bad. He started the full rebuild in the summer of ’08 with just about nothing and has, in three years and four drafts, completed the core of a future champion.

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