Ryan Strome first gained notice as a member of the Barrie Colts. A 16-year old center on a contending OHL team doesn’t get a lot of ice time, but he showed well when given opportunity. Strome was dealt to Niagra last spring and ripped up the OHL as a 17-year old. His NHLE ranks number one among the top rated draft eligibiles for 2011′s entry draft but there is very little buzz about him going at the top of the draft.
Why not? It has a lot to do with strength, size and how he projects as a player.
Kirk Luedeke: Average size, but grew a bit since last year, which helped him in terms of where he’s regarded amongst scouts. Excellent skater who can beat defenders with his speed or elusiveness. Very soft hands and superb puckhandler who uses his feet and creativity to be a going concern offensively. Just a dynamic scorer who isn’t quite in RNH’s class, but isn’t too far off, either.
Strome finished third in the Ontario Hockey League scoring with 106 points (33-73-106) in 65 games, leading the IceDogs to a franchise best 45 wins and 96 points in 2010-11. His 1.63 points-per-game average ranked first among all the top producing OHL forwards this season. He was voted the Most Improved Player and the Best Playmaker in the 2011 OHL Eastern Conference Coaches Poll. Strome also tied for the Best Stickhandler with Ryan Spooner, drafted 45th overall by Boston in 2010.
- NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards: “He skates very well and has very good speed. He’s a creative playmaker who sees the ice very well. He goes to the net and battles in front. He is able to get to rebounds and loose pucks in front. He has good hands and has scored some goals off tip-ins in front.”
- Niagara GM and head coach Marty Williamson: “Ryan is one of those guys that initiates contact and makes a great play. He plays in those traffic areas and he wins battles and then he makes great passes. He’s got great vision . . . He’s confident, he feels good on the ice, and when you have skill and a lot of confidence, good things happen.”
- More Williamson: He’s been a game breaker, dangerous on the powerplay. But to be able to score 5×5 at his age that’s a real compliment to him. He’s also been a very consistent player all year.”
- Again Williamson: “He’s not killing penalties for me, we wanted to keep him rested for even strength and the powerplay.”