Prospect Report: 3/2/12: UPDATED World Juniors Edition
For this edition of the prospect report I will take a second look at the two Islander’s prospects that played in the World Juniors tournament and see how their season has progressed since last hearing from them. Ryan Strome and Johan Sundstrom are two very solid prospects for the Islanders that both have a very good chance of one day wearing an Islanders jersey full time. I introduced you readers to these two prospects after the closing of the World Junior tournament in January. You can find the original article by clicking here.
Ryan Strome is still considered by many to be the top prospect in the Islanders system and he continues his impressive season with the Niagara Ice Dogs. Ryan Strome hasn’t played a full season this year due to injury but in his limited 38 games he has still scored 23 goals and 31 assists. The injury Strome suffered was a broken nose from Brody Slik. The punch was considered to be a sucker punch and landed Slik a 10 game suspension. The good news is that Strome is back playing and still producing at a high level.
I personally believe that Strome has shown all he can show at the junior level. He needs to face better competition and bigger opponents. I would expect Strome to make Bridgeport next season and he may not even spend the whole season there. Strome does have the skill to make the Islanders next year but I would prefer that he at least start the season in the AHL to get a better understand of the professional game before he is placed on the Islanders.
Johan Sundstrom is still playing in the Swedish Elite League for Vastra Frolunda HC. He isn’t having a great season statically with only 6 goals and 3 assists in 47 games but he is still playing in the top professional hockey league in Sweden which is a good sign that he does have the skill and hockey sense to play among great hockey players.
I think it would be important to Sundstrom’s development that he comes to North America next season. This will allow him to get use to the smaller ice surface of North America and allow him to transition and learn the style of hockey that is played here. On the bigger ice surfaces of Europe his size doesn’t come into play all that often but with less space on an NHL rink his size will be a big factor. He needs to learn how to start using his size in a smaller rink in order to succeed in the NHL. (Photo Credit Flickr/BridgetDS)
These two prospects are still both playing great hockey and I hope to see both of these guys in either Bridgeport or Islanders jerseys next season. One thing is for sure with these two, they will both be fun to watch this summer in the Islanders prospect camp.
As always, thanks for reading and feel free to comment below.
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