Minor League Games Played as a Predictor

This is Rob Schremp. Latest word on him is that he’s working hard trying to catch up on lost time due to surgery earlier this offseason. Poster Afterglow at HF posted this on the boards July 19: Yesterday at Millennium Place, Schremp and Spurgeon were out on the ice skating hard in prep for the season. Schremp was favoring his knee quite a bit after doing a couple sets of lines. From what I saw out of him and Spurgeon, those months of rehab set back his offseason conditioning a bit. Aside from a few times when he favored the knee, he looked to be moving well, although he did break into his trademark wide stride a few times.

I think it’s reasonable to assume Schremp is going to arrive at main camp this fall a bit behind and another 40 games in the AHL are certainly possible (and that’s without a trade bringing in some veteran quality up front).

Schremp is just another in a long line of Oilers prospects who have had to prove themselves in the minor leagues for a season or more before establishing they can play (and eventually help their teams win) in the NHL. Among forwards on the current roster that came through the Oilers system, only Ales Hemsky (0 AHL games) and Shawn Horcoff (26 AHL games) played less than a season in the minors before establishing themselves as NHL players.

Most of the NHL difference makers either skip the AHL altogether or spend a season or less in the minors (or European equivalent). Here’s a list of Oilers forwards (the ones who established themselves) drafted since 1990 and their GP totals in the minors:

  1. Jason Arnott (1st rd-1993) 0 games
  2. Ales Hemsky (1st rd-2001) 0 games
  3. Mike Comrie (3rd rd-1999) 0 games
  4. Ryan Smyth (1st rd-1994), 9 games
  5. Boyd Devereaux (1st rd-1996), 14 games
  6. Shawn Horcoff (4th rd-1998), 26 games
  7. Miro Satan (5th rd- 1993), 39 games
  8. Martin Rucinsky (1st rd-1991), 42 games
  9. Kirk Maltby (3rd rd-1992), 73 games
  10. Jarret Stoll (2nd rd-2002), 76 games
  11. Marc Pouliot (1st rd-2003), 98 games
  12. Georges Laraque (2nd rd-1995), 144 games
  13. Fernando Pisani (8th rd-1996), 172 games
  14. Tyler Wright (1st rd-1991), 176 games
  15. Brad Winchester (2nd rd-2000), 181 games
  16. Jason Chimera (5th rd-1997), 233 games
  17. David Vyborny (2nd rd-1993), 310 games

I believe that’s all of them. A few notes:

  • Arnott and Hemsky are a little better than this shows because they arrived in the NHL while still junior age. Arnott’s stunning rookie season came at age 19, and Hemsky was an NHL rookie at the same age.
  • Vyborny is probably a special case and we might want to exclude him. The Oilers had him in NA for one AHL season and he basically waited for expansion to bring him over. Based on his talent and performance, it’s probably a good argument he could have played for the Oilers sometime between 1995 and 1999.
  • Brad Winchester isn’t really established, so he may not belong on the list. Same thing for Pouliot, but he should be fine.

Schremp has played 69 AHL games. His ppg in those games is .768, which compares to Pouliot (.776), Stoll (.710) and is superior to someone like Jani Rita (.642). There’s a chance he’s going to exceed 100 games just due to this recent injury so that has to be factored in, plus this is an inexact science and other factors (plethora of similar talents knocking on the door at exactly the same time) have to be considered.

However, if we start seeing him getting close to Jani Rita’s AHL GP number (204 games) I think we can assume general panic will begin to set in among Oiler fans.

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3 Responses to "Minor League Games Played as a Predictor"

  1. Julian says:

    And by “panic among oilers fans”, you mean bryanboil, right?

    Schremp’s reluctance to continue his skating lessons last year was a little annoying. We always hear about how driven he is to be an NHL player, and how aware he is that he needs to work on his skating, and then he goes and shrugs them off?

    This season should be crunch time for him, and the knee injury could set him back a fair ways.

  2. Black Dog says:

    On the bright side, it msy also be a wakeup call for the guy. Coupled with last season’s struggles, this injury may show RS that crowd pleasing moves and some decent talent is not enough to get you to the bigtime.

    A lot of hard work is part of the deal as well.

  3. Asiaoil says:

    There are a few players that I just don’t want in the org and it pleases me very much when they are dealt – the last 2 being Comrie and Lupul. Schremp falls into this group which is largely populated by one dimensional scorer types tha have other warts (size, speed etc).

    I just can’t see Schremp having a future in the org becuase of the presence of guys like Cogliano (same size but much faster and much better defensively) and Gagner (a little bigger, a little faster, better offense at a younger age).

    So I don’t get fussed about Schremp – he’ll be on his way as part of a package deal soon enough.

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