Strome Looks At Home In World Juniors

Ryan Strome displayed that he has the hands, the vision and the speed to compete at the highest level of hockey when he put on a show at the Islanders rookie scrimmage this past summer. He was making plays everywhere he was on the ice and then finished the game with an unbelievable shootout goal in the skills competition on Islanders goaltender, Anders Nilsson. 

(YouTube video posted by user Fel0096)

 
This move still makes my jaw drop when I watch it. Granted, will he ever be able to pull something off like this in a real game? Highly unlikely, especially if he doesn't want to be jumped by the opposing goalie and all of his teammates. But it just goes to show how much skill this kid really has. 
 
Strome is currently participating in the World Juniors tournament for Team Canada to add on to his impressive season with the Niagara Ice Dogs of the OHL. In 24 games with the Ice Dogs, Strome has 16 goals, 17 assists and 33 points along with a +11 rating and 34 PIMs. He had 106 points in 65 games played last year with the Ice Dogs and appears to be on pace for another great season. 
 
Ryan Strome (mandelux12/Flickr)But onto International affairs; Strome has been one of the main catalysts for success on Team Canada this year, as he has been instrumental in their domination over their opponents. On Monday, Team Canada had a decisive 8-1 win over Finland. Strome helped open up the scoring by getting the initial assist on Mark Stone's goal just a little over two minutes into the first period. He would go on to add two more helpers before the game was over and then complete his night with the eighth goal of the game for a four-point night in his team's win.
 
Although the game was long out of reach by the time he scored, the goal was still impressive. Strome pulled the puck with a nifty toe drag around a Finnish skater to beat their goaltender just inside the post and under the crossbar with a wicked wrist shot from high in the slot. Everyone has heard the term, "this puck had eyes," but in this case it really did. 
 
(YouTube video posted by user xXxCrosby87Xx)
 
 
He continued this type of play into Team Canada's 5-0 win over the Czech Republic. Line mate Mark Stone would open up the scoring again in the first period with Strome getting the secondary assist. But he wasn't done there. Although he had to settle for less than four points, Strome would add to his total by scoring a power play goal in the second period to give his team a 2-0 lead. 
 
As you can see, Strome has been incredibly noticeable in these two games with six points spread between them. This experience he is getting out of playing in such a high level of competition will do wonders for him down the line. He is still only 18 years old with plenty of room left for improvement, and plenty of time for him to grow into himself as well since he only clocks in at 6'0 and 183 pounds. But his rather smallish size hasn't stopped him from dominating at the World Juniors. 
 
It will be fun to watch him continue his development with the Ice Dogs when he returns back to his OHL team; it will be even more fun to watch him make the jump to the NHL, perhaps as early as next season. 
 
-Rob McGowan