On a star-studded American roster, centre Robbie Schremp stands out both with his on-ice creativity and his talkative nature off the ice. In fact, he’s even been known to co-host a radio morning show in London, Ontario, where he won last year’s Memorial Cup with the OHL’s Knights.
The Fulton, New York-born ace has contended for the OHL scoring lead this season with USA teammate Bobby Ryan and Knights teammate David Bolland, who’s suiting up for Canada. Schremp’s most recent display of offensive virtuosity came on October 16, when he lit up the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors for eight points. HockeyCanada.ca caught up with this 18-year-old sniper at Team USA’s hotel in downtown Vancouver.
What do you think will be more exciting, winning the Memorial Cup last year or winning a gold medal with team USA this year?
Codie Morton (age 11) - London, ON, Canada
Both would be a great experience, but to pick one is tough. You train all season with your team, so winning the league championship would be special, but on the other hand playing for your country is a big honour and to win a gold medal would be unbelievable. I think it would be a great problem to have to choose between which title is better.
Hi Robbie, who was your hockey idol growing up and why? Thanks.
Alexandre Kohli - Fribourg, Switzerland
Mario Lemieux. He is the best player in my eyes--completely dominant and the type of player that a young kid can look up to.
Hello Rob, I was wondering about your hockey experience prior to playing in Major Junior and for Team USA. How did you make the decision to play in Major Junior rather than playing in college? What advice can you give to young hockey players who want to play in elite level hockey? Good luck and GO USA!!!!!!
Emery and Robert Johnston - New London, NH, USA
Tim Connolly was also another player that I really respected when I was growing up and he went the Major Junior route and had success--so I guess that’s where I got the idea from. I’m really happy that I chose the path I did, Major Junior is the right fit for me. As for advice, I would just say to work hard every chance you get, but also to have fun playing the game.
What are some of the great memories that these tournaments created that will ALWAYS stay with you?
Christina Pivirotto - Woburn, MA, USA
You always have great memories from tournaments like this. The World Juniors is especially special because you’re spending the holidays with your team. Besides all the great memories you take from what you do on the ice, just hanging out with the guys during our down time is what I enjoy and what I remember.
What skills are you working on in anticipation of playing with the Oilers next season? Are you surprised by your offensive success this season? What do you do to inspire confidence when your game isn't quite what you want it to be?
Wow, that’s a lot of questions. First, I’ve been focusing on my speed and getting stronger off the ice, good conditioning is so crucial at the next level. About getting so many points--I guess yes and no I’m surprised. I have confidence in my skills, but I never thought I would have so many points. I also have great teammates that have made it possible. Finally, I think when I’m slumping, I just try to regain my focus. When you’re down, you have to rely heavily on everyone around, your teammates, you coach. Normally that’s enough to help me get back in the game.
Robbie: What's your greatest asset as a hockey player, and why? Thanks!
Sam Tenenbaum - New York, NY, USA
I would have to say my shot and how I see the ice. Ever since I was a kid, I have been able to see the ice really well. I’m not sure why that is, but I’m not arguing.
Rob, you have been playing hockey and living in Canada for 3 years. Canada is treating you very well, especially the London fans. Are you interested in becoming a Canadian Citizen and play for Canada in the Olympics one day?
Deepal Peiris - London, ON, Canada
Canada is an amazing country to compete in. The fans are so devoted to the game and the players, there’s not another place in the world like it. But I don’t know about changing my citizenship—I’m definitely happy with the way things are now.
Robbie, how do you get ready for the next season during the summer, and which things do you especially pay attention to?
Jere Koskinen - Helsinki, Finland
I work out A LOT. I normally condition about twice a day and really focus on my cardio and endurance. The off-season is a great time to work on the things that you just don’t have time for during the season. I also work for a month with a speed skating coach in Regina.
Robbie, since you play in Canada has it been tough to play in this year’s tournament with the anti-American crowd?
Jason Nelson - Detroit, MI, USA
No. I knew ahead of time just how passionately the Canadian fans feel about hockey, especially their junior team. I knew they would be against the USA, the same way the USA fans were against Canada in North Dakota last year. It’s all part of the rivalry we have in hockey.
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