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FEATURE: Strome excited to help Oilers win

Trade acquisition Ryan Strome is excited to join a promising Oilers club and ready to help them rack up the wins

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

EDMONTON, AB - A short, four-word phrase defines Ryan Strome's goals in Edmonton.

"I want to win."

In his quest for both personal resurgence and team success, Strome believes the Oilers organization provides the perfect avenue to achieve those goals.

Video: RAW | Ryan Strome

"I'm just excited to come to a team that I think is really close to winning," said Strome.

"It doesn't seem too long ago that I was watching the playoffs. I was sitting up until two in the morning with my buddies watching the game like, 'Wow, these guys are quite the team.'"

Thanks to a trade on June 22, Strome is a part of that team.

The Oilers traded Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders, in exchange for the cerebral and versatile forward - and a change of scenery was just what the doctor ordered.

Coming off a 13-goal, 30-point season in Brooklyn, Strome is embracing his new organization and the opportunity that comes with it.

As someone who can play centre or the wing, Strome fits right into what the Oilers coaching staff likes: versatility.

"One of the main things I talked about with Todd (McLellan) was the versatility," said Strome, who was in Edmonton for the first time since the trade on Friday. "I remember watching during the playoffs and the lines were switching up, guys playing centre, guys playing wing and I think it gets guys going. It gets you involved in the game and if you're feeling it, you get out there more.

"I know his teams did that in San Jose and it's definitely very exciting. There's no lack of opportunity, that's for sure."

Offensive opportunity is an exciting development for the 24 year-old.

"From what I've heard, the coaches here like to preach offence and like to teach it and that's something a little bit different and something I'm looking forward to it now."

Strome was offensively dynamic as a young player in the Toronto area, scoring 85 goals and 164 points in 74 games back in 2008-09. He finished third in Ontario Hockey League (OHL) scoring during the 2010-11 season with 106 points.

That offensive ability helped make him the fifth-overall pick of the Islanders in the 2011 NHL Draft.

The hope is Strome's production will see an uptick with the new franchise and the new teammates he'll be skating with come October. He's no longer a young player trying to break into the League, so now it's time to make his mark on it.

"I think just to get that confidence going early and ride the wave," Strome said. "With so many ups and downs in my career I think I've definitely learned to handle adversity pretty well. I've had a lot thrown at me and gone through some stuff. So, I think just from my past experiences and knowing the league is a big thing too.

"Just being around, I definitely don't feel like too much of a rookie anymore. It's funny how fast time flies. But being traded now to a good opportunity and to people who are excited to have me, it's going to be good. It's nothing but optimism on my end."

Video: 1-ON-1 | Ryan Strome with Tom Gazzola

So much optimism that stopping by Rogers Place for the first time as an Oiler left Strome feeling like a kid at Christmas.

"That's what I felt like going to the rink with my new gear and I was like, 'This is pretty awesome.'"

Helping Strome get acclimated to his new employer has been the welcome wagon full of his new teammates. Several Oilers players reached out to Strome after the trade.

"It was nice to see so many guys text and reach out," Strome said. "Pretty much everyone said all the positives: great arena, great fans, obviously a great team and coaching staff. Can't ask for much more than that. I'm just so excited. To see the support of the guys says a lot about the dressing room and I haven't heard one bad thing so I guess that's a good thing."

Eventually the new will wear off and it will be time to grind. Training camp is fast approaching, and Strome knows what he has to do to contribute - and his confidence in this team's promise has him ready to roll.

"The sky's the limit and to be part of that is exciting."

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