James van Riemsdyk (JVR) was a highly sought out prospect coming in the 2007 NHL Draft. JVR was at times being compared to who most people thought, was the sure number one pick of 2007, Patrick Kane. Kane went to Chicago, and the Philadelphia Flyers had the next choice. The Flyers picked van Riemsdyk 2nd over all, and the rest is history in the making.
After being drafted, he made the announcement he would continue his College game, with two years remaining. In the 09-10 season, he signed his Entry Level contract for the Philadelphia Flyers and began his NHL career in the AHL. While on the (at the time) Philadelphia Phantoms JVR started to turn heads with his speed, hands, and size. He was called up to join the line that featured Sophomore stand out, Claude Giroux. Claude Giroux whom was also being tallied to be a huge young star in his own, began to build great chemistry with JVR. During that game, he had 1 goal, and 1 assist. During his 2nd game against the Devils, he had 2 more assists. He would play 78 games that year, recording 15 goals, and 20 assists.
Now playing in his 2nd season JVR started off to a great start during preseason. Scoring multiple goals, and assists many thought this was going to be the year that JVR broke out. Once regular season started, he cooled off considerably. For almost the first month and half of the regular season, he was non existent for the team. He was later benched by coach Peter Laviolette for 3 games. This was the wake up call that JVR needed to collect his thoughts, and figure his game out. Many of the fans were also calling for the head of van Riemsdyk. What JVR needs most is time.
This is only his 2nd year, and he has just as much potential as anyone in the NHL to date. JVR has been getting more and more time on the top lines, and when you get to play with true NHL stars like a Mike Richards, or Jeff Carter it can only help you down the road. I also have to think that knowing how the organisation feels about JVR, and giving him some tough love with the recent benching has to only but reassure him that the Flyers truly want to make this relationship work out. At the same time, he has to realise he isn’t the only fish in this huge pond either.
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