Islanders rookie Ryan Strome is enjoying his first season with the Islanders. The fifth-overall pick in the 2011 Draft has five goals and 16 assists in his first season with the Islanders. We sat down with number 18 to discuss his development, hotel life, off-season training and more.
What aspect of your game did you have to work on most coming from juniors to the AHL and then AHL to NHL?
Off the ice, I really learned how to be a professional. On the ice, it’s just learning little habits like starts and stops, getting under the puck and just giving yourself a better opportunity to score. It’s a hard league to get the puck and score, so I am trying to develop those little things.
How is the suite life? What is it like living in a hotel?
There are a good group of us living there and I am just happy to be in the NHL. We have the Xbox setup, so we make use of our time and have fun. I don’t have to make my bed everyday, so that is a plus.
You are good friends with John Tavares; do you ever have him over for dinner?
I think it is the other way around (laughs). Unfortunately you cannot cook in a hotel room.
What is your most memorable moment in your hockey career?
Probably my first goal. I have played a lot of world juniors and stuff like that, but I think that first goal was probably the coolest thing. It is something I have worked towards for a while. It took a little bit of weight off my shoulders as well.
What are you looking forward to most this off-season?
I’m looking forward to being home. This is my first full season away from home so it will be nice to be back home. I think I am going to live at home for one more summer, train and really get prepared for next season. It is always nice to be home with friends and stuff. It has been a pretty long year and I have played a lot of games, it will be nice to relax a bit too.
Are you going to focus on anything in particular with regards to your training?
The same things as always, I’m going to try and get stronger and faster. It is pretty basic what everyone does over the summer. I am lucky I have a guy like John Tavares to work with. I am sure we will do the same things we always do.
Why did you choose the number 18?
When I got traded in junior hockey, [from the Barrie Colts to the Niagara IceDogs] that was the only number left. I was always the number 16 growing up so I figured 18 was close enough and kind of stuck with it since.