Robbie's power play chance

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:13 PM ET

Robbie Schremp probably isn't ready to be the No. 1 centre the Edmonton Oilers covet, but the high-scoring pivot from the London Knights might be the guy to give the Oilers' power play the jolt it needs.

Schremp, who led the OHL with 23 power-play goals in 2004-05, will get a chance to strut his stuff at training camp and in the pre-season. If Schremp produces, his power-play prowess might be what keeps him from getting a ticket back to London.

"It's no secret we're looking for a guy there," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "It's natural you would think Schremp would fit in there because that's what he brings, right?"

Schremp, 19, drafted 25th overall by the Oilers in 2004, tallied 41-49-90 with the Knights last season, and more than half of those points came on the power play. The Fulton, New York, native scored 23-23-46.

He was a wizard on the half-boards for the Knights, and that's something the Oilers haven't had, aside from Petr Nedved's 15-game stint here at the end of the 2003-04 season.

"He's going to get a fair opportunity to play in some pre-season games, so we'll see," vice-president of hockey operations Kevin Prendergast said. "We have the opportunity to see if he's the guy for our power play.

"Is he going to make the team? It's up to him. We still don't have that No. 1 centre and we still don't have the guy we think can run the power play for us. He brings that to the table."

Schremp must earn a spot on the Oilers roster or be returned to the OHL. He isn't old enough to turn pro in the AHL. The Oilers won't burn a year of his NHL contract just to keep him here as a fourth-liner, but if he can get it done with the man-advantage, he could stick.

"He'll get the opportunity. The rest will be up to him," MacTavish said. "He showed the ability at his first rookie camp, but he was inconsistent. I guess you expect that out of a young kid."

Rookie camp opens with medicals Sept. 5 and the first on-ice session goes the next day. About 20 of 40 players attending rookie camp will be invited to main camp.


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