SUN Hockey Pool

Expect Karamnov to re-enter draft

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

YELLOWKNIFE -- Vitaly Karamnov was supposed to be a high pick in the 2007 NHL entry draft, but told everyone not to bother because he wasn't coming to North America.

But here he is at Edmonton Oilers rookie camp.

"He was projected to be a first-rounder going into the draft, but when we interviewed him at the combines in Toronto he told us he had a contract in Russia for two years, so we weren't going to get involved in that," said Oilers VP Kevin Prendergast. "The next thing we know he's in Everett (Silvertips, WHL)."

Edmonton was the first team to call and express interest, so the 18-year-old Russian is here in Yellowknife, looking pretty good. Don't expect him to become Oilers property, though. They're pressed up against the contract limit already and need to have a deal ready for Sam Gagner, so Karamnov will go back to the WHL and re-enter the draft next summer.

NO SCHREMP: Fans in Yellowknife would have loved to see Rob Schremp at the rookie camp, but the Oilers told him to stay in Edmonton and get ready for the main camp.

"It was our decision," said GM Kevin Lowe. "Because of the injuries (knee surgery last spring and quad strain over the summer), he's really minimized the amount of training time for him. So he's back home skating with (powerskating coach) Steve Serdachny and working off ice with (strength and conditioning consultant) Chad Moreau. We know how talented he is, but he has to get strength and he has to get quickness. He's better served being at home for the rest of the week."

ALL HANDS ON DECK:When you're the lowest scoring team in the NHL, you don't turn up your nose at creative players, so this year, more than any other, the young guns are getting a real shot.

"Robert Nilsson, Andrew Cogliano, Sam Gagner, Rob Schremp, all these guys have an opportunity to play because they bring something we need, which is offence," said Prendergast. "It's up to the kids now to show Mac they can do it. I think a lot of kids are ready to take jobs now ...there's no guarantee for anybody, if one of the younger kids is better, that's the way we're going to go."


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