Drummond back on the front lines

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 12:18 PM ET

The Robbie Drummond experiment on defence is over -- for now.

After patrolling the blue-line in one exhibition game and the Knights season opener against Saginaw, the 19-year-old has played the last three games at his more familiar, and comfortable forward spot.

"Playing defence was an experiment and I guess it didn't work out," Drummond said. "There was a lot to learn and understand in a short period of time and the coaches just felt it would be better to move back to forward. I had never played defence in my life before, so it was a big change."

Defence in the OHL is a lot more than just skating backward. There's a physical element that's crucial in the corners -- which ex-London rearguard Marc Methot excelled at -- and a premium on controlling the puck inside the opposition blue-line, which was a forte for former Knights defenceman Danny Syvret.

The original thinking was the five-foot-11, 182-pound Drummond, one of the fastest skaters in the league, would be key at the back end in helping start the Knights on quick breakouts out of their end.

Knights head coach Dale Hunter wouldn't close the door completely on Drummond being back on the point sometime this season.

"Robbie's being hard on himself. I thought he did all right back there," Hunter said. "It is a big adjustment and we moved him back on forward, at least for now. That's not to say we couldn't put him back there again, depending on the situation."

Drummond is happy with the current setup. After three seasons of being used in a primarily checking role, the team's second pick in the 2002 OHL draft was hoping to put up some big offensive numbers this year.

Heading into last night's game against Owen Sound at the John Labatt Centre, he had three assists -- one in each of London's first three games. He had a goal and 10 points in six preseason contests, good for first on the team along with forward Adam Perry.

"I want to use my speed to create chances and, most importantly, help this team get a couple wins," Drummond said.

"That's the biggest thing right now. We have to find a way to get a couple of victories under our belt and go from there."


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