Staple, with Newsday since 1997, has covered high school sports, hockey and football.
Ryan Strome beamed like a proud parent last week, recounting the achievements of his two younger brothers. The three Strome boys have had memorable seasons at three different levels of hockey, keeping parents Chris and Trish busy preparing for a not-too-distant future when all three of their sons could be playing in the NHL.
Dylan Strome, the 18-year-old middle brother, won the Ontario League scoring title with 45 goals and 84 assists and his Erie squad just advanced to the second round of the OHL playoffs. Dylan is a surefire top 10 pick in the June NHL draft.
Matt, the youngest at 16, scored the overtime winner in the championship game for the Toronto Marlboros of the Greater Toronto League and will be a first-round pick in the OHL draft Saturday.
And, of course, there's Ryan, not yet 22 and the second-leading scorer on the Islanders in his first full NHL season.
"It's been a great time," Ryan said of his brothers' achievements. "Dylan doing something I never did, winning the scoring title, and Matt with a big goal in a big game. I'm just proud of them."
Dylan Strome's strong season in Erie has been a bit overshadowed by a teammate; Connor McDavid is a consensus top pick, the teenager teams like the Sabres have built their terrible season around in a bid to finish last and win the draft lottery.
But Dylan has moved up into a fourth or fifth pick in many mock drafts, with the sort of size (6-3, 185) that could make him an NHLer right away next season.
Ryan would love to get a chance to team up with Dylan, but the Isles traded away their first-round pick and it wouldn't have been anywhere near high enough.
"I just tell him not to worry about where you go," Ryan said. "There's so many things out of your control, it's not worth worrying about. He's having a great year and it's important to focus on that."
Of rings and things
Three Islanders have won Stanley Cup rings. Where do you keep such an important treasure?
The answers varied from home to parents' home to a safe deposit box. For Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy and Tyler Kennedy, the best memory was that special summer day with the Cup.
"We brought it to a place up by the lake in the Soo [Saul Ste. Marie, Kennedy's hometown] so we could have family and friends take pictures and stuff," Kennedy said. Of his ring, won with the Penguins in 2009, Kennedy admitted "I don't think I've seen it in a few years."
Leddy, who won with the Blackhawks in 2013, had a friends-and-family gathering in Eden Prairie, the Minneapolis/St. Paul suburb he grew up in, then toted the Cup to his high school, the University of Minnesota and a children's hospital.
Boychuk, Cup-winner with the Bruins in 2011, did many of those same things, but best remembers his first moments. "I picked it up at the airport [in Edmonton] and we took it to lunch," he said.