Islanders prospects and Niagara IceDogs teammates Ryan Strome
and Mitchell Theoret
spoke with islanders.com about playing in the 2012 OHL Championships, beginning Thursday, May 3.
Ryan Strome Q&A
Islanders.com: How would you evaluate your performance so far in the OHL Playoffs?
We’ve had some tough competition in the first three rounds – I think we’ve played maybe the three toughest teams in the Eastern Conference – so I think we’re well prepared. For myself, I’ve done pretty well offensively and I’ve been producing and I have to try to keep it up and keep making strides because London is a really good defensive team. Islanders.com: Can you preview your upcoming series against the Knights? What do you expect from them?Ryan Strome:
They have a world class goalie – he’s one of the best goalies in the league along with ours. They also have a really good group of forwards with a lot of depth and a few studs on defense. It’s going to be a really tough series. I think our teams match up very evenly. Islanders.com: Is this the furthest you’ve ever gone into the Playoffs? What would a Memorial Cup birth mean to you and your team.Ryan Strome:
Last year we lost in the third round so to improve on that this year was a goal of mine and it’s good that we accomplished that. Anything from here is an added bonus. We obviously aren’t satisfied yet and we have our sites set on the Memorial Cup but we have to take care of business in the OHL Championship first.Islanders.com:
Have you been in touch with any Islanders during the season or playoffs? Gotten any good advice?Ryan Strome:
A bunch of them have been in contact with me and given me support. Especially at the World Juniors and I went to a game in Toronto and they were all asking about my season. They’ve been really good and really helpful. I’m looking forward to finishing off the year here and then getting back to New York.Islanders.com: How did attending your first NHL training camp and spending the first few weeks of the season with the Islanders affect you as a player? Ryan Strome:
I think it’s been very beneficial. I learned a lot. I was watching and learning as much as I could about the older guys about what it takes to be a professional and I tried to adopt as much as I could from there to come back to junior and be a leader and try to play the game properly at both ends of the ice. I’m very thankful for that opportunity I had to stay there.Islanders.com: How would you describe Theoret's game and how has his season gone?Ryan Strome:
He’s a big-bodied player who’s been a little bit streaky this year, but when he’s hot, he’s hot. He was huge for us this last series and when he uses his body to get in front of the net he’s very successful. He and I have found some chemistry when we’ve played together.
Mitchell Theoret Q&AIslanders.com: How would you evaluate the team’s play and your individual performance so far in the OHL Playoffs?Mitchell Theoret:
I think we’ve lived up to the expectations as a team. We set our goal to win the OHL championship and the Memorial Cup and everything so far has been a stepping stone towards that. As for myself, I think I’ve done a reasonable job – I’d like to produce more offensively, but as long as the team’s winning and I’m contributing to the success I’m happy with that.Islanders.com: You had three big goals in your last series against the Ottawa 67’s. What clicked for you and your line?Mitchell Theoret:
I think we just came together more as a line. I hadn’t played with Shiply and Pecan at all in the playoffs. We just seemed to find some chemistry and it seemed to work for us.Islanders.com: Can you preview your upcoming series against the London Knights?Mitchell Theoret:
They’re a lot different from Ottawa. Ottawa played physical, which is how I like to play, but London has a lot more high-end talent and a lot more speed, so I think we’re going to have to be ready to make decisions quicker and we’re not going to have a lot of time. Islanders.com: How did attending your first NHL training camp effect your season? Mitchell Theoret:
It was a great experience coming down. It really opened my eyes about what the NHL and the Islanders organization are all about a. It’s motivated me to want to work extra hard to achieve that goal of playing for the Islanders. Islanders.com: How would you describe Strome’s play this season and post season?Mitchell Theoret:
He’s been lights out all season. He came back from New York after missing the first few games and dominated the league again like he did last year. The sky is the limit for him.