Q. Well, how does it feel?
RYAN STROME: I couldn't be happier right now. Sitting there, I mean, fifth
overall is pretty special. To have my family there, I'm so happy. I saw the
emotion. It really is the best day of my life.
Q. Thoughts on going to the Islanders?
RYAN STROME: I work out with John, and he already called me as soon as it
happened, I couldn't be happier. I have a guy to mentor me through the summer.
I see him every day. I think I'm in a very good situation.
Like I said, I couldn't be happier with the situation, and I'm just excited to
get things started.
Q. How does the near future?
RYAN STROME: Obviously my mindset for the summer is to be ready for training
camp. That's the way I have to approach it. If I don't approach it like that,
I'll never be successful. That's the way I'm going to approach it, and that's
more of a question for the general manager and coach.
Q. Can you talk about what your visit was like?
RYAN STROME: It was good. They take it very seriously. It's obviously a big
investment for them and a big part of their future. I got X-rays done, and MRIs
of my body and a whole bunch of medicals done to make sure I'm healthy.
I sat down and talked with them and after they got to know me a little better,
and I think they justify wanted to do an extra background check.
Q. What was the difference this season?
RYAN STROME: I think just confidence in the second-year round. I worked really
hard in the summer. I credit that to athlete training center where I work out
with John, obviously. I came back with a ton of comments. I got the ball
rolling early, and just tried to keep it rolling through the whole season. I
mean, confidence is such a big thing in hockey, and that's what I tried to do.
Q. When did you know it was the Islanders?
RYAN STROME: Not until they announced and I saw Dougie Hamilton still on the
board, so I wasn't sure. But I was just so thrilled. I really can't remember
much of it. I have to watch the video when I'm done, but it was great. It was
Q. Did you and Dougie have any friendly bets or anything?
RYAN STROME: No, not at all. He text me probably an hour before I left. He said
whatever happens, it's been a great year. We're both best buddies. I wish him
the best of luck. I just went out and gave him a hug. His time's coming. He's a
great player, and whatever team is lucky to have him.
Q. What is your impression of the Islanders in the direction they're heading
RYAN STROME: They're a young team. They've got a ton of assets. I want to grow
with the team, and I want to win a championship. I know I'm young saying that,
but that's what you want to do. You want to build from the ground up and that's
what New York's doing, and I hope to contribute to that.
Q. talk about your meeting
RYAN STROME: I met with them before the combine. They did a psychological test.
They came to Niagara, and I met with them another at the combine and went down
to New York. So I knew the interest was there, and I knew where they were
selecting so it was a very good possibility. Things worked out.
Q. Talk about playing in Niagara with the IceDogs in the OHL development?
RYAN STROME: It's been great. Since I got traded there last January, I've
gotten consistently better each day. I can't thank them enough, the coaching
staff, Marty Williamson, Mike Van Ryn, Billy Burke, and the owners are second
to none. I was there with them last night.
They're the greatest people in the world. They're probably the proudest people
now. It's such a welcoming organization and such a big family there. Everyone's
been so great, and everyone's wished me the best of luck, and they're the best.
Q. Do you have a uniform number in mind?
RYAN STROME: No, not at all. I honestly haven't had a chance to look at that. I
didn't know what team I was going to so never mind looking at a number.
Q. What did John say to you on the phone there?
RYAN STROME: John just said -- he's been through it not too long ago, so he
knows how busy I'm going to be. He just said best of luck. Enjoy it and soak it
all in. We'll have a great summer together and work hard. And I'll be side by
side with him and he'll show me the ropes, hopefully and I'll just learn
everything I can.
Q. Any of this a surprise? Anything you weren't prepared for?
RYAN STROME: Not really. Coming here I didn't know what to expect, but my agent
informed me, kind of told me about all the media that's going to go on and
stuff. I've just embraced it and soaked it all in. Just having the most fun I
can at this time.
Q. Was it a blur the last 48 hours?
RYAN STROME: Not the last 48 hours, more the last 15 minutes. Everything seems
to come and go very quickly.
Q. Do you plan on being active on Twitter?
RYAN STROME: We'll see. I'm very busy in the off-season, so I might shut it down
for a little bit and just get to work.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home
telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on