By: Dyan LeBourdais
Today, Islanders 2011 draft selections Mitchell Theoret
and Ryan Strome
are close friends. But that wasn’t always the case. Strome was drafted into the OHL by the Barrie Colts and prior to his trade to Niagara, the Islanders fifth overall selection at this year’s draft had a few meetings with Theoret.
|Mitchell Theoret skates at Islanders Mini-Camp held at Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday, July 13, 2011. |
“Before he got traded to Niagara, we had a run-in on the ice,” Theoret said. “We were (Niagara was) down and I asked him to fight, but he didn’t want to, so I stuck it to him a little bit. Then he came to Niagara and I thought it was going to be a little awkward, but it was totally fine. What happens on the ice stays on the ice. Ironically, we’re two of the best friends on the team now.”
While the evidence is still buried somewhere on the internet, Strome admitted Theoret found photo evidence of the abuse.
“It was the end of the game and our team was killing Niagara and (Theoret) was chasing me around the ice trying to get me to fight him,” Strome said. “I got traded a couple months later and he found a picture on Facebook of him following me around the ice trying to get me to fight him. It’s pretty funny to look back now because he’s one of my best friends and it’s kind of funny the way things worked out.”
Theoret even admires the way his pal sees the game.
“He’s an exceptional talent on the ice, so it’s a pleasure to play with him and watch him night-in and night-out,” Theoret said.
All the bad blood between them is definitely over. Now the two best friends, drafted together, wish each other the best of luck as they work toward their goal of making it to the NHL.ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUEBy: Jamie Palatini
The Ontario Hockey League is one of the primary junior hockey leagues in Canada and has produced many of the top players in the NHL. It’s no different at this year’s Islanders Mini-Camp, as Calvin de Haan
, Casey Cizikas
, and this year’s fifth overall pick Ryan Strome
all hail from the OHL. They may view each others as foes during the season, but when they arrive at Isles Mini-Camp they leave those sentiments behind.
|Islanders prospect Calvin de Haan takes a knee and during an on-ice session of Islanders Mini-Camp at Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday, July 13, 2011. |
“Over the past two years, (Calvin and I) have probably played each other six or seven times,” said Cizikas, who was the captain of the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors this year. “We roomed together during my first camp here, but when I see him on the ice during the season I try to go after him a little.”
de Haan, who played for the Oshawa Generals last season, echoed Cizikas’s feelings, making the point that you learn early on to keep what happens on the ice, on the ice.
“It’s part of the sport for sure,” de Haan expained. “I’ve got some good buddies at home that I’ve played against my whole life, but off the ice they’re some of my best friends. The same goes for Zeeker (Casey Cizikas
). On the ice you’ve got to be enemies, but at the same time you can still show the guy respect. Off the ice, we’re great friends.”
Both had the opportunity to play against Strome and Theoret’s Niagara IceDogs during the 2011 OHL playoffs, making things a little more interesting for Cizikas when he arrived at mini-camp this year.
“I get to the hotel to get my key and I find out that he’s (Strome) my roommate,” Cizikas said. “He was the best player on his team, so my job was to get under his skin and give him a few shots here and there. It’s pretty funny.”