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Day Two – “My First Camp: Ryan Strome”

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
Back on the ice for Day Two of Islanders Mini-Camp, Ryan Strome was glad to finally take the Nassau Coliseum ice for the first time and receive some on-ice instruction.

“It was my first time on the ice here at the Nassau (Coliseum),” Strome said. “It’s good to kind of get that under your belt and get the first one out of the way. It was good to get back on the ice. That’s what we’re here for and that’s the fun part. So it was great.”

Even though the campaign for a new arena is in full swing, Strome still thought it was cool to be skating at the original Coliseum, where four Stanley Cups were won.

“It was cool,” Strome said about skating at the Nassau Coliseum. “It could be a big part of my future. Hopefully it is. It’s great to have that first experience under your belt. It was very exciting and little nerve racking at first, but it’s just hockey and I had a lot of fun.”

Ryan Strome takes a shot on Anders Nilsson during a on-ice session at Islanders Mini-Camp on Wednesday, July 13, 2011.
Strome is currently paired on a line with Nino Niederreiter, last year’s fifth overall pick. Having that in common has given them a lot to talk about, especially since Niederreiter received his first NHL action last season.

“He’s been up for a couple of games in the NHL and he knows what it takes,” Strome said. “I’ve been talking to him a little bit, giving me a little advice and I’m just trying to following in his footsteps and learn everything I can.”

He’s also received a bit of mentoring from fellow Mississauga native and first round pick, John Tavares. The two even shared a few text messages yesterday, with Tavares asking Strome how he’s doing.

“(Prior to the draft) we kind of joked about it (being on the same team) a little bit,” Strome said. “It’s reality now. He’s a good role model and a good guy to look up to. He works so hard. He’s such a professional and we all know how good he is. So it’s great to kind of learn from him and see what he does every day, just go under his wing a little bit and learn everything I can. He’s a good guy and he’s helped me out a lot.”

Tavares, the first overall selection in 2009, made his transition from Junior to the NHL rather quickly, playing pros the very same season he was drafted. Niederreiter, drafted fifth overall in 2010, played nine games last season and is hoping to make the Islanders roster straight out of Training Camp this year.

So if Strome wants to follow in his teammates footsteps, he said, “This is work time. I want to make the team and this is the first time. So yeah, this is exciting and it’s something I’ve dreamed of my whole life, but it’s down to business now. They’re (management, coaches and scouts) all watching, they’re all watching 24/7. So it’s definitely time for work.”

Fans will get to see Strome’s talent first-hand on Saturday night when he and the rest of the prospects gear up for the Blue & White Scrimmage and Skills Competition.

“That’s what we’re all here for, to play,” Strome said. “Hopefully the fans get a good look at the future and what the Islanders have here. I think it’s a bright future, so I’m very excited.”

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