ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- During the first half of the 2013-14 season, Ryan Strome had to watch and wait for his NHL dream to come true.
Every other player selected in the top 10 of the 2011 NHL Draft had reached the League. The New York Islanders preached patience and sent Strome, the No. 5 pick, to Bridgeport, Conn., for further development in the American Hockey League.
No player's path to the NHL and success at the highest level is ever the same. Strome may have had to wait a little longer than some of his peers, but he's now a top-line forward for a 101-point team and a key contributor for a franchise on the rise.
"It feels like my road was a little longer," Strome said. "I just wanted to do the right thing and they wanted to do the right thing for me. It was frustrating at times, watching the other guys play in the NHL, but all in all it is about the big picture and our team is in the playoffs my first full year. I think things have worked out pretty well.
"I took a little bit of time to develop. I don't think I was quite ready. It was frustrating to see at the time, but looking back at it, it was probably the best thing."