Friday, June 24, 2011

Draft Party Live Blog

Keeping with tradition, I'll be liveblogging from the NHL draft party (sorry, not the actual draft this year). Check this space for the pick at #5 and any other Isles related news and/or trades.

UPDATE: With Kyle at the podium, the Islanders selected Ryan Strome from the Niagra IceDogs.

ANALYSIS: I really like the pick. Stats aside, he trains with John Tavares and is friendly with Matt Moulson. So there's already familiarity, and perhaps a bond.

The overiding theme when discussing Strome is that he is a wonderful playmaker and makes those around him better. His whopping amount of assists on last year's stat line shows that.

Dishing the puck isn't his only game, though. He netted 33 goals with the IceDogs last season and was the Ontario Hockey League's top point producer with a very healthy 1.63 points per game. Searching for his name on Youtube reveals a heap of highlight video goals. What great stuff to watch.

The pundits on TSN and elsewhere are salivating over seeing him potentially teamed with John Tavares on the Islanders. Of course, we have to keep in mind he'll probably be slated for a little more seasoning down in the minors before he hits the Island. He will not be rushed to the National Hockey League.

It's nice to see the Islanders stacked with so much young talent. I can't remember the last time I felt this optimistic heading into an Islanders season.

As Trevor Gillies told the crowd at the draft party, 'I wish the season would start right now.'

I've been hearing that from a lot of people, for good reason.

Additionally, you can follow new Islander Ryan Strome on Twitter at @Strome18.

Don't forget, rounds 2-7 are tomorrow, where scouting departments really earn their money. You can see the full list of pick and names in the post following (above) this one.

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