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Strome Watch: 'I could contribute'
Ryan Strome says he has no problem going back to junior hockey this year, but the highly-touted first-round draft pick added at mini-camp Thursday that he can party with the big boys, too.
"I think I could definitely survive up here, and I think I could contribute to the Islanders," Strome said. "Whatever the team wants me to do is best. In the back of my mind, I know they think pretty highly of me, so I've gotta impress them and show them they're making the right choice in picking me."
Strome last year finished third in the Ontario Hockey League and led Niagra with 106 points in 65 games, earning Most Improved Player and Best Playmaker in the OHL Eastern Conference. After struggling slightly in his first year (a split season with Niagara and Barrie where he tallied only 27 points in 61 games), Strome said that his confidence has come charging back.
"I've become stronger and grown physically," he said. "I think I'm going back to where I was in minor midget [with the Toronto Marlies] where I was dominating the league and going back to that mindset that I'm a good player."
His ideal role with the Islanders would be that of playmaker - something he excelled in with Niagra this year -- 73 assists and a +28 rating.
"I want to contribute offensively, but I also want to be a responsible player," he said. "[I want to] earn the coach's trust and play in different situations, but primarily I'm going to be here to put up points and set guys up."