AHL Q&A - Rob Schremp, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

PATRICK WILLIAMS -- For SLAM! Sports

, Last Updated: 7:48 PM ET

The phenomenal numbers that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins centre Rob Schremp posted last season in the OHL with the London Knights meant that the youngster would enter the AHL with high expectations.

Schremp turned pro this season after pouring in 57 goals in 57 regular-season games last season with the Knights, and therefore much is expected from the 20-year-old.

The crown jewel of the Edmonton Oilers' prospect ranks, the Oilers not having their own AHL affiliate in place means that Schremp is on loan to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pittsburgh's AHL affiliate.

Even though the Oilers lose some degree of control over Schremp while he is with the Penguins, placing Schremp with the Penguins should benefit all involved parties - Schremp, the Oilers and the talented Pittsburgh prospects who have been afforded an opportunity to skate alongside the talented Schremp.

Playing in northeastern Pennsylvania also means that the native of Fulton, N.Y. also has a chance to play his first pro season just a few hours away from home.

Through 11 games so far this season, Schremp has gone a very respectable 3-8-11. But Schremp's immense talents have left Penguins head coach Todd Richards hungry for more out of his Edmonton rookie.

Schremp found himself skating alongside winger Dennis Bonvie as something of an extra forward in warm-up prior to last Saturday's game at Philadelphia, certainly not a place anyone would have expected prior to season's start.

"I want more out of him," Richards told Jonathan Bombulie of the (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) Citizens' Voice. "It's as simple as that. I think he knows it. His play has been too erratic. There's no consistency."

"I want more out of him, and the reason I say that is because I know there is more."

Richards told the Citizens' Voice that he would like to see Schremp go to the net more and get his nose dirty playing in the tough patches of ice.

"Right now, I think what he's doing is he's bringing his junior game. I don't mean that in a negative way. There's things he's done his whole life that he's been able to do. Now he's playing against guys that are bigger, stronger, faster. Those plays aren't there anymore."

Schremp, who scored a late goal in the Penguins' 5-4 loss at Philadelphia last Saturday, spoke afterward on his first month in the AHL.

ON HIS ADJUSTMENT TO THE AHL "It's been alright. It's a pretty big jump going from junior to any kind of pro. It's been tough.

ON THE BIGGEST ADJUSTMENT ABOUT TURNING PRO "It's grown men who have been training and working out for six or seven years of a pro career so far, and I'm just starting to get into that phase. It makes it tough when it's guys who have 10 years of pro against your one [year]. The speed has been the big difference, speed and strength. You don't find as many weaknesses as you did in the O. Here, everybody can play.

ON BEING ASSIGNED TO WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON It didn't matter where I went. This is the closest one to home for me, so it's not such a bad situation.

ON PLAYING ALONGSIDE SO MUCH SKILL WITH THE PENGUINS It's been great. There is tonnes of skill in this room...Even what you would call our grinders are not grinders. They're just skilled guys. There is so much talent here that it makes it easier to fit in with that aspect of the game. They're in the right spots at the right time.

Patrick Williams can be reached at patrickwilliams@canoemail.com.


Videos

Photos