Ryan Strome And Anders Lee Look NHL Ready

Although the New York Islanders have been surrounded with lots of negative attention these days, there is a positive and hopeful story that has been emerging and has almost gone unnoticed (Photo credit: mandelux12/Flickr).

Ryan Strome and Anders Lee have been nothing short of excellent since their recent call-up back to the New York Islanders.

Lee made two appearances last season, scoring his first NHL goal in his first NHL game played against the Winnipeg Jets. Due to injuries that took place just before the Olympic break, and the recent movement at the NHL trade deadline, Lee has found himself a spot in the Islanders line-up.

Over the past six games that he's dressed, Lee has scored five points (four goals and one assist). He is also a +1 and carrying a 25% shooting percentage. Not only has he been effective offensively, but he has been showing how strong he is on his skates with his intensity along the boards. Clocking in at 6'2 and 225 pounds, Lee is showing the coaching staff that he may be very capable of handling a full-time role as a center with the New York Islanders next year.

Strome, who dressed for 15 games before being sent back to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers earlier this year has been Lee's partner in crime. During his initial run with the Islanders this season, Strome only tallied four points (one goal and three assists). However, since his return from the AHL, Strome has four points in the same six games played as Lee (one goal and three assists).

Both players have developed excellent chemistry with each other while playing with the Sound Tigers and appear to be making a smooth transition to the NHL with each other.

In fact, they have even helped some struggling players that were regularly dressed on a nightly basis.

Colin McDonald, who has struggled both offensively and defensively with the Islanders this season has three points in his last three games while seeing some time on a line with Lee and Strome. He has scored two goals and one assist with a +1 rating as well.

Although this was a season dubbed "a shift in power" by the New York Islanders, indicating that the rebuilding days were over with playoffs looking to be consistently on the horizon, it may still be an appropriate title. Both Strome and Lee are looking for permanent spots with the Islanders and could fit nicely as core members of this hockey club going forward.

With Kyle Okposo being the only expected regular on the top line with John Tavares next season, Strome and Lee may both get an opportunity to fill in that open spot on the wing. At the very least, they are displaying that they should be ready for some top-six playing time at the start of the 2015 season.

-Rob McGowan

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