Captain shines

MORRIS DALLA COSTA -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 11:20 AM ET

It's not unusual for Rob Drummond to get lost in the London Knights lineup.

Over the years, there have been injuries and struggles to get the kind of ice time that makes a difference in how a player develops and what his point totals look like. That was especially difficult on the power play where the last three years the Knights had relied on a handful of stars.

This year, the over-ager was named captain and is one of a handful who gets as much ice time as he can handle. He plays the power play, kills penalties and takes a regular shift. He has five goals and 13 assists and is in the OHL's top 10 in scoring.

Despite climbing the scoring ranks, one thing hasn't changed -- somebody else is getting the headlines.

Dave Bolland, Corey Perry, Rob Schremp and Dylan Hunter are gone.

But Sam Gagner, Pat Kane and David Meckler have arrived.

"No, it doesn't matter at all," Drummond said. "Pat Kane and Sam Gagner are ahead of me in scoring . . . good for them.

"I'm just happy to get as much ice time as I'm getting."

Drummond is getting the opportunity he's always wanted.

"A lot of my points are on the power play and I've known that all along," he said. "I'm getting a chance to play the power play with some skilled players and the pucks are going into the net."

Drummond had his best season last year with 27 points. He should fly by that with ease and he still provides a vital service in this era of special-teams hockey, when power plays and penalty killing decide games. He's an outstanding penalty killer.

It was a rarity to see teams two-men short. But they now often face that for extended periods. Coach Dale Hunter will use two forwards and a defenceman in that situation and Drummond's skating and stint on the blue-line early last year make him a nice player to have.

"It gives you a different perspective about where you're supposed to be and you learn to read the play differently," he said. "When you're playing forward, you know where you're supposed to be. When you play defence, you also know where the D is."


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