SUN Hockey Pool

No room for Rob

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:07 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Rob Schremp was better in his second training camp with the Edmonton Oilers than he was in his first, but that wasn't enough to land the former London Knights star a spot on the Oilers 23-man roster for opening day.

Schremp, 20, was assigned to Wilkes-Barre of the AHL yesterday morning as one of seven cuts coach Craig MacTavish made to trim his roster to 26 players. Closer, but no cigar.

"It's tough," said Schremp moments after getting the news. "There's a lot of depth here.

"They made a lot of good trades over the summer and brought in some good players. With (Petr) Sykora and (Joffrey) Lupul, it's pretty tough to earn a spot over guys like that. They have a lot of professional experience."

NICE PRE-SEASON

Schremp, selected 25th overall by the Oilers in the 2004 Entry Draft, tallied 2-2-4 in five pre-season games he played, a big step up from the one goal he managed in his first camp with Edmonton.

Among the final cuts a year ago, Schremp returned to London and won the OHL scoring title.

If there's a silver lining, it's that Schremp is a phone call away from being called up. That wasn't the case when he was returned to London. He could only be recalled last season on an emergency basis.

"I haven't really thought about that," said Schremp. "It's still kind of sinking in. If you want to say that helps, I guess it helps. All I can do is play. I achieved what I wanted to this camp. I wanted to play better defence and score goals and that's what I did."

Despite the offensive gifts Schremp brings to the table, MacTavish didn't consider it a tough call.

"The guys we sent to the minors today have some work left to do on their games before they get to this level," MacTavish said. "I wanted to make that clear to all of them. It wasn't a tough decision for me as a coach to make for any of those guys. Toby Petersen might be a little bit different in that respect, but all the other guys have stuff to work on in their games."

THREE MORE CUTS LEFT TO MAKE

With the roster at 26, MacTavish will make three more cuts tomorrow morning.

One of those will be goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who has had a strong pre-season but won't displace Dwayne Roloson or Jussi Markkanen. He's likely headed to ECHL Stockton.

The remaining two cuts will see MacTavish decide between Mathieu Roy and Jan Hejda for one spot on defence and Alexei Mikhnov, Marc-Antoine Pouliot, J.F. Jacques and Brad Winchester for three spots at forward.

"For sure I'm going to think about it because I'd like to stay here, but it's not my decision," said Roy.


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