Current Rank: #4
Summer Rank: #5
Despite the “running in place” ranking there’s some good news regarding Rob Schremp these days. First of all, his coach in Springfield has been saying very positive things about him and his underlying numbers (the ones we can look at) are positive.
Let’s start with the best news: Schremp’s EV/per game number is off the charts compared to his own established level of ability. Let’s go back a few years for some perspective:
- 06-07: 69gp, 8-17-25 .362
- 07-08: 65gp, 8-20-28 .431
- 08-09: 18gp, 1-12-13 .722
That’s the most impressive EV number since I’ve been looking at them (05-06) among Oilers AHL prospects. I have no idea if he can sustain it but that’s a terrific number.
When Schremp was drafted I felt he would be an impact player in a narrow view. A Mike Comrie type, a scorer who could impact offensively enough to justify a roster spot. In November 2004 I wrote “not a complete player by any means, but a potential impact player” but he never delivered on that after turning pro in 2006. As it turned out, his subpar wide-track skating style coupled with the usual problems of high scoring juniors (they’ve never had to pay attention to the other guy) meant a long minor league audition for Schremp. We also were misled by not having TOI totals from London and let that be a lesson for the next one dimensional phenom passing through these parts.
Schremp was expected to make a strong bid to make the Oilers this fall but it didn’t happen. He was sent to the minors where he impressed the coaching staff with his work ethic and attitude. Schremp: “I’m going to keep working hard, improve defensively and be responsible.”
The current call up may be just a cup of coffee, but at some point the Oilers (or another NHL team) will give Schremp 500 at-bats to show his stuff. Schremp (based on comments from various coaches) has improved in the needed areas and altough not dominant in the AHL (I suggested that “reasonable” expectations this season would be leading the AHL in scoring but the Falcons PP killed that thought early on) he has impressed at EVs this year and since there’s no 4-A he’s likely at a point where more time in the AHL is no longer productive.
Postscript: I wrote all of the above after Schremp was called up but before the game last night. I’d chosen Schremp 5th overall for this winter and wanted to write everything before the game in case he either flubbed it or hit it out of the park.
He clocked it. A very good effort, in fact so good that many of us in the comments section wondered if we were looking at the same player. Among the explanations were confidence, development that comes from working hard on the finer details and quality of linemates. Another possibility is calibre of opposition (the Stars are walking wounded these days and were playing the 2nd half of a b-t-b) and still another is that they put him out there for enough shifts that he got a feel for the game and some traction.
Schremp’s 4 game career by TOI and shift total:
- 06-07 G1 (13:50/17 shifts)
- 07-08 G1 (3:12/6 shifts)
- 07-08 G2 (10:42/13 shifts)
- 08-09 G1 (14:32/22 shifts)
In three of those games Schremp clearly was given all kinds of opportunities and in the final one he showed what he could do, meaning the next question (“can he do that again?”) will probably gets answered this season. He’ll likely stay for some duration after last night’s impressive game.
My own guess is that he’s going to be just about what we’ve seen from Robert Nilsson these last couple of years: flashes of brilliance followed by long periods of running in place. How long he’ll stay in the show and how many career at-bats he sees are out in the ether, unknown because he is not yet established in his career (at age 22) and he’s already burned some daylight.
PS2: I had originally posted Jeff Petry as the #4 prospect (and Schremp at #5 as mentioned above), but a math error on my part (and identified by Paul after a question from Kamus) drastically changed the equation. My thanks to both Kamus and Paul and apologies to readers. Since Schremp was next up, he’s #4 overall.