Player Report Card: James van Riemsdyk

NAME: James van Riemsdyk

POSITION: Left Wing

Regular Season Statistics: 78 Games Played – 15 Goals, 20 Assists, 35 Points. -1.

Analysis: The much hyped second overall pick of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft (yes, the one behind Patrick Kane) made his debut as a Philadelphia Flyer in the 2009-2010 season.  For JVR, it was a year of tremendous highs and lows.  He scored some big goals for the Flyers, but also seemed lost at many times during the course of the season – there were a couple of occasions when JVR went double-digits in games without scoring a goal.  Still, he wasn’t bad for a Rookie, and he did provide the Flyers with some more talent in the depth of their line-up for the vast majority of the season.  The one knock that I had on van Riemsdyk and will continue to have on him is the fact that he seems too reluctant to physically impose himself in the corners when in the offensive end.  He shies away from the physical play far too often, and I don’t think I need to be the one to say that hiding from physicality doesn’t exactly win you brownie points in this town.  He needs to add more bulk to his 6’3”, 205 pound frame so that next season he can fit the power forward proto-type the Flyers so desperately will need.

Postseason Statistics: 21 Games Played – 3 Goals, 3 Assists, 6 Points.  -4.

Analysis: Much like his regular season self, JVR had his moments in the playoffs.  One thing I will give him is that his wheels are among the fastest of the men that wear Orange and Black.  When he gets going in the neutral zone, he is incredibly tough to stop.  That’s why I feel that some extra bulk added to an already sizable frame would do JVR wonders moving forward in his career.  Like many of the Flyers seeing their first extended dose of playoff action, JVR looked at times as if he may be in a bit over his head during games.  While this is true to the fullest, he also seemed rejuvenated in the Stanley Cup Final when he returned for games four, five, and six after being a healthy scratch for Game Three.  It was nice to see a little tenacity and fire from JVR, and for it to look like he wanted it more than anyone on the ice after he had felt the feeling of being a healthy scratch and watching a game in a suit.

FINAL GRADE: B-

Reasoning: I bashed JVR far too often during the season to award him a solid “B” so he will instead be stapled with the “B-“.  He’s growing as a player, that’s for sure, and it’s easy to get excited about the future with the former second overall pick.  Hopefully, he can put all the chatter about the whole Patrick Kane situation to use as motivation, not as something that will bring him down mentally.  He has the size and speed to be an incredibly good power forward in this league, and if he bulks up this summer, I would say that’s a definite possibility.  Also, the fact that the Flyers likely will move one of their bigger contracts this summer means that JVR will definitely be counted on to score at or around 20-25 goals next season, something that I think – provided he doesn’t hit a gigantic Sophomore slump – van Riemsdyk should be more than capable of accomplishing.

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