Islanders Prospect Report 1/9/12: World Juniors Edition

Islanders Prospect Report 1/9/12: World Juniors Edition

With the World Junior’s tournament coming to a close earlier this week, it seemed like a good idea to take a look at the two Islanders prospects that took place in the games. Ryan Strome played for Team Canada and Johan Sundstrom played for Team Sweden. Of course Sundstrom seemed to come out of the games better as he is walking away with a gold medal (probably good for some locker room trash talk in the future).

Ryan Strome led the favored Canadian team into the tournament and didn’t disappoint with his play. In his six games played during the tournament he scored three goals and added another six assists. Unfortunately, Strome left the games with a bronze medal after losing a tough game against the Russians in the semi-finals. Strome had the best chance to tie the game late with a hard shot off the post. The Islanders latest high draft pick (#5 overall in the 2011 draft) continues to live up to his potential and get better every time he plays. He will continue his season with the Niagara Ice Dogs of the OHL where he currently has 36 points (17 goals and 19 assists) in 25 games. Strome is by far and away one of the Islanders' most exciting prospects not currently playing with the team. Strome’s skill is sure known to Islanders fans and most can’t wait to see him full time in an Islanders uniform, which with his progress so far this season could come as soon as the start of next year. The real question that remains with Strome is if the Islanders keep him at his natural center position and have an exciting one-two punch with him and Tavares, or if they will try to convert him to a winger and let him play alongside of Tavares.

Johan Sundstrom was also a pick from the 2011 draft for the Islanders, taken 50th overall in the 2nd round. Sundstrom had a solid tournament where he finished with 5 points (1 goal and 4 assists) in 6 games.  He is currently playing in the Swedish Elite League for Vastra Frolunda HC and looking at his statistics it doesn’t seem like he is having a great season (3 goals and 2 assists in 30 games). However, he is playing in a professional league against other players that are a lot older and more experienced then himself. This type of experience will help him when he tries to transfer his game to that of the NHL. Sundstrom is a big center (6’2” 195lbs) that will definitely add some skill to the Islanders in the future. It is unknown when he will make the transfer to North America and start playing full-time in the Islanders system but when it does happen he will need some time in Bridgeport just to get himself use to the smaller American ice.

I can’t wait to see either of these two player in Islanders uniforms one day. Strome has the all the tools and skills that will make home town fans jump out of their seats when he plays and will bring nothing but excitement to Nassau. Sundstrom’s stats may not knock anyone over but his size and on-ice awareness will make him a valuable asset to this team in the future.

As always thanks for reading and if there is any Islanders prospect that you would like me to look into for next time feel free to let me know.

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Mike Flannery's picture

Great job on your report, lot of research went into it. You did all the work and I am up to speed pronto. Keep up the great work.