Strome sent back to juniors

Islanders first-round draft pick Ryan Strome has been sent back to his junior club, the team announced Thursday morning.

Strome, the fifth overall pick this June, made the team's opening-night roster out of training camp but did not play in either of the first two games.

"It was really good for him," coach Jack Capuano said. "He had a great rookie camp, a great NHL camp, he was thankful for the opportunity but I think he realizes he needs to go play."

Strome, 18, will return to the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League, where he scored 33 goals and 73 assists last season. He's also expected to play for Team Canada in this year's World Junior Hockey Championships in Alberta.

"It's been a week now and I think I've learnt a lot and I'm just happy I got the opportunity to be around the team during the regular season," Strome said. "They wanted me to get a good experience, get a taste of things and I think I did that."

The decision to send Strome back is hardly surprising. Although he possesses clear offensive skill and creativity, he still needs time to develop physically and adapt to the speed of the game.

"An extra year never hurt anybody," Strome said about returning to juniors. "I'm excited to go back and play there."

The Islanders had nine games to make the move before burning a year of eligibility on his three-year entry-level contract signed earlier this month.