It's time to impress the boss

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:04 AM ET

Edmonton Oilers' GM Kevin Lowe will be there. The question is how many potential future Oilers will earn tickets to the Memorial Cup for a chance to sip champagne and impress the boss?

Robbie Schremp, taken 25th overall by the Oilers in the 2004 Entry Draft, will strap it on with the host London Knights when the puck drops for the annual junior showcase May 29. That's a given.

The Oilers could have as many as four draft picks in London - Marc-Antoine Pouliot and Rimouski are facing the Halifax Mooseheads in the QMJHL final, while Tyler Spurgeon and Troy Bodie of the Kelowna Rockets take on the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL championship series.

The more the merrier.

"It's nice to finally have some of our young players in the limelight. It's been awhile," said Lowe. "We think they're fine prospects and that they're going to be good pros at some point."

Schremp, 18, had tallied 9-12-21 and boasted a plus-9 rating in 13 post-season games when the Knights opened the OHL final against the Ottawa 67's Friday night.

Pouliot, taken 22nd in 2003, had three assists as the Oceanic touted the Mooseheads 9-4 at home in the first game of the best-of-seven QMJHL final Thursday.

"They're going to play significant roles for their teams," Lowe said. "It's not like they're fourth-line guys. I'm looking forward to the series with Halifax. If they mow through those guys, they'll really be on a roll because Halifax is a very good team."

Schremp and Pouliot are the marquee guys, but Bodie, a big right winger taken 278th in 2003, and Spurgeon, a smallish centre selected 242nd last June, have put together very good playoffs for the upstart Rockets.

Bodie had scored 1-11-12 going into the WHL final, which started yesterday, and Spurgeon has 9-3-12 after leading Kelowna in regular season scoring with 21-41-62.

"Conventional wisdom is the more you play and the more you compete at a higher level, the more improvement players make," Lowe said. "It's great for development, although it doesn't guarantee anything."


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