#4 Prospect Winter 2008: Rob Schremp

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.

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20 Responses to "#4 Prospect Winter 2008: Rob Schremp"

  1. raventalon40 says:

    What happened to the Jeff Petry page? I agree with this new assessment, though. :-D

  2. raventalon40 says:

    Oh, right, the math equation. Got it.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Yeah, just so everyone knows I still like Petry but there are three defenders (Petry, Chorney and Wild) who I have had slotted in a specific order for some time. Chorney’s early season struggles combined with improved efforts from Wild and (I thought) petry made the running a little closer.

    Plus Bisaillon and Plante have to be considered. The one thing I’m pretty sure of at this point is that the slot behind Peckham on the prospect chart for Dmen is wide open.

  4. Jonathan says:

    But I already linked to your Petry article!

  5. Lowetide says:

    Well he’s coming back but the D plus minus numbers knocked him down a little. Stupid math.

  6. Dennis says:

    But how does Schremp compare to Tommy Albelin?

  7. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Albelin was a better skater than Schremp, but as good a puck handler as he was Schremp would have to be considered superior.

    As a defenseman, Albelin was clearly better than Schremp.

  8. oilerdago says:

    LT – I like how you are slotting the d-men. Peckham is closest to NHL ready but I think he can benefit more playing the tough minutes in the AHL this season, mastering it while continuing to be that emergency call up. By next season, he should be solid.

    Of course, that all changes if a a d-man gets moved by the trade deadline – but just like with young quarterbacks, the repitions help build confidence and it’s better to get more repititions now.

    Overall, I wish there were a true elite prospect in the system, but you can’t knock the Oilers depth – especially after watching Dallas last night.

  9. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Overall, I wish there were a true elite prospect in the system, but you can’t knock the Oilers depth – especially after watching Dallas last night.

    The Stars had 6 regulars out of the lineup last night.

    Their depth was all playing.

  10. Bryanbryoil says:

    Nice to see you give some credit to Schremp for his play yesterday LT. Consistency is always a big issue for young players. However Schremp has been pretty damned consistent this season, so I like his chances.

    Unlike Nilsson, Gagner, and Cogs, he has a LOT riding on his time here. He knows that he has a short window to make an impression, and he has started to do so in a hurry.

    Here’s to hoping that this is his last prospect rating anywhere and that he’s here for good ;)

  11. Showerhead says:

    How did Schremp do after his assist? I’ll admit this is purely subjective and more than 24h have passed since the game so hindsight biases play in… but did he play a) more fired up b) about the same or c) kind of lazily, content that his audition was successful?

    There are a few of you (Pat and Bruce at least, more I’m sure) that often notice the same little things that I do when I watch a game. So if you’re out there, let me know what you thought! First few shifts were great in a lot of different ways for #88.

    And finally, as a PS: There is a manager at work who absolutely loves his CFL and his MLB (thankfully both of those playoffs are a distant memory now!) As such, I am more used to hoping hockey is on than expecting it even now that it’s the only draw.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Showerhead: I felt Schremp played well throughout the game. Unlike the other times I’ve seen him play he was moving his feet all of the time and seemed to be headed in the right direction more often than not.

    Plus he had at least one legit takeaway, a real hockey play.

  13. Black Dog says:

    showerhead – I was very impressed with his game from start to finish

    the big question will be his sustain, as LT says, but for one night at least he proved that he can play well in this league

    he took an iffy penalty but it was more of an excuse me then anything

    very good puck support

    good work along the boards and dug the puck out of some tight situations

    actually threw at least one hit that I saw

    if anything he was overly cautious defensively

    I liked his game a lot – he is a lot more fit, he looked very confident and very determined

    he has ten days to make an impression – if I were a betting man, I think the final grade will be a good one

  14. Matt N says:

    what happens when Row-bear is back?

  15. George B says:

    Matt N,

    I don’t think anyone would be sad to see Reddox go and Schremp stay.

    That is the call that I would make.

  16. Bryanbryoil says:

    If Schremp can remain relatively responsible in his own zone and can provide offense, I don’t see why they would keep Reddox up over him. IMO he almost killed the notion that eh has to be in the top 6 to succeed. However that was 1 game so we’ll see how he does tonight. I’m expecting it to be another solid night for #88. IMO his biggest issue (at least this preseason) was his confidence. When Robbie is playing confident, he is one hell of a player.

  17. Dennis says:

    BBO: you know as well as I do that it’s one thing to be consistent in the A and quite another to do the same in the bigs. I’ve never been one to scoff at all the big expectations for Schremp – it really gets under some guy’s skins but not mine – but the fact is that if a guy’s played ~180 games in the A and he has any chance of playing in the bigs then he Should be impressing by now or his time’s most likely up.

    I really liked his game the other night but he was high event as well so there’s something to watch for. It certainly seemed like the kid came prepared to battle and he threw a couple of hits so good for him.

    Regarding replacing 85 once 12 comes back the lines get jammed there’s still an idea tht 4th lines should provide more energy than outchancing. 85 no longer kills penalties so I’d have no problem replacing him with Schremp and trying to build something around a 88-78 tandem on the 4th line. Fuck, I’d bring up Brule and put him there as well.

    My idea currently is if we’re not gonna stock the 4th line with guys who can kill penalties then we should try and stock it with guys who’ll be able to outchance their counterparts during the old Gentlemen Agreement matchups against the other team’s 4th line.

    Personally, I don’t believe in playing your 4th line fuckall anyway. My first intention is I’d scour the A and the Euro leagues for guys who can win draws, block shots and kill penalties and then I’d shove them on the 4th line and pay them next to nothing. And because they’d never see sugar time or much EVTOI in the first place then you’d never have to pay them. Failing that I’d put guys down there that could outchance and start them in the bullpen and if they start to eat the softest of opp then you look to give them a few starts.

    But the Oilers seem caught up in the energy thing so that means 88 likely won’t have a job unless it’s on the 10 line or playing with the kids.

  18. kamus says:

    Dennis, I agree with your view of a fourth line. I thought Thoreson was perfect for that role and still don’t understand why they let him go for nothing.

  19. Bryanbryoil says:

    Dennis-Schremp has been the most consistent and best Falcon that I’ve seen in the 2 years that I’ve been watching them (this season). I hate the high event horse crap because other than being pinned in their zone once (the kid line of any make-up getting pinned in their zone? Get outta here!) he just stepped on the ice when Modano scored his 2nd goal, and Penner, not Schremp was on for the first. So what are we blaming him for? Sometimes stats lie Dennis, that was one of those cases. The kid should’ve been a +2 if not for some crap luck.

  20. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Brule called up. Nilsson on IR.

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