Schremp looking ahead

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 12:49 PM ET

Back when Dale Hunter was Rob Schremp's age, he celebrated his first NHL contract with the Quebec Nordiques by purchasing a nifty new set of wheels.

"I got a $25,000 signing bonus and I bought a Camaro Z28 for $9,000," the London Knights head coach and 19-year NHLer said.

The 19-year-old Schremp, who inked a three-year entry-level contract with the Edmonton Oilers yesterday, didn't have such definitive plans.

"I don't know, maybe I'll buy that Camaro off (Dale)," he said with a laugh before making his OHL season debut with the Knights last night against the Barrie Colts.

Hunter knows exactly what's swirling through the head of his high-scoring forward right now. When Hunter signed with Quebec, he was sent back to junior for another year of seasoning with the Sudbury Wolves.

Schremp, a first-round pick by the Oilers last year who nearly cracked the big squad this fall, also has to deal with being under contract to an NHL team and playing another year in the OHL.

"For a lot of guys, signing relieves a lot of the pressure. You don't have to worry about anything and you can just go out and concentrate on playing your game," Hunter said.

That's the way Schremp is looking at it. After agreeing with his agent Scott Norton of Chicago that signing with the Oilers would be the smart move, he is trying to put the moment out of his mind.

"I'm not going to be all big league about it," he said. "It's nice that it happened and I'm ready to move on and help the London Knights win some games. Signing just means it's one less thing you have to worry about, but I'm not going to give any less to the Knights.

"I'm going to work just as hard as I would if I was unsigned and playing for a contract."

Schremp, sporting an Oilers ball cap before the game, admitted London was in his mind while he was in Alberta.

"I said to (Danny Syvret) even if I make the team, I was really going to miss London."


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