Schremp watches Knights 'get it done'

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:57 AM ET

At one point yesterday, it looked like the only guy who could save the London Knights from defeat was in his street clothes signing autographs in the arena concourse.

Current hockey pro Rob Schremp, last year's OHL leading scorer, visited his old scoring grounds, participated in the ceremonial faceoff, then watched the Knights score late in the third period for a 6-5 victory over the Sarnia Sting at the John Labatt Centre.

Schremp, who is playing for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League, jumped at the chance to return to London with his club enjoying three off-days to start the new year.

"I'll always come back here -- I love it here," the 20-year-old Fulton, N.Y., native said. "It's great to see the Knights having success again. You never know how it's going to go. After we won the Memorial Cup, we lost a lot of guys but we still managed to get back to the OHL final last year. This team lost five or six good players from last year's team (including top guns Schremp and David Bolland) but they're still finding ways to get it done."

While Bolland has made his NHL debut with Chicago this season, Schremp has been waiting to get the call from the Edmonton Oilers.

"I'm one of about seven guys from the Oilers in Wilkes-Barre -- the rest are with the Penguins organization," he said. "Todd Richards is our coach and he has taught me a lot. . . . It's an adjustment to a new league but I have seven goals and 18 assists, averaging out to about a point a game.

"I'm a passing guy now -- a power-play specialist," he added with a laugh.

Edmonton asked Schremp to work on his skating in the summer. He took part in power skating and worked on his familiar deadly shot.

"The whole point is to improve at this level and move on to the next (the NHL)," Schremp said.

In addition to seeing some of his old London pals, Schremp was curious to watch potential NHL first-rounders Pat Kane and Sam Gagner in action. He had heard those two were helping fill the scoring role he and Bolland were in last year.

"It was great those guys made the world juniors but I was hoping to see them play," he said. "I hear a lot about what they're doing. It just goes to show Mark and Dale (Hunter) are good hockey people and they have a good read on the kind of players they have to draft, trade for or sign.

"You look at Mace (London goalie Steve Mason). He's a great goalie but Adam Dennis was the best goalie in the league last year so what are you going to do? Dennis was on fire, so you had to play him but that didn't mean (Mason) wasn't good.

"Defencemen like (Sarnia's) Steve Ferry, when he was with us, would've played on any other top six in the league the year we won the Memorial Cup but look at the guys we had. We knew how good these guys were. Now, they're getting the chance to show what they can do."


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