The Flyers second overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, James Van Riemsdyk, has show many that he not only deserves a spot on the Flyers 2009-2010 roster, but that he deserves significant playing time. In the Flyers first unofficial preseason game (a rookies game versus the Washington Capitals rookies), Van Riemsdyk had four goals (that's 4, one more than a hatrick) and one assist. He was, according to reporters who were there, flying around the ice and looking like a Rick Nash reincarnate. Over the summer Van Riemsdyk put on about ten pounds of muscle and looks to be in great hockey shape. Last night during the Flyers first "official" preseason game against the Red Wings, JVR had the Flyers lone goal on a wrister from the top of the left circle.
Van Riemsdyk has been thought of as a bust by many Flyers fans (myself included). It has mostly been Flyers fans being upset that they didn't get the 1st overall pick in the 2007 draft, the year after they were the worst team in the NHL, and had the worst season in Philadelphia Flyers history. With the 1st overall pick in the draft, the Chicago Blackhawks took the now coverman of EA Sports NHL 10, Patrick Kane. Many Flyers fans have been comparing Van Riemsdyk to Kane and this is the source of the "JVR is a bust" comments. Van Riemsdyk, after being drafted by the Flyers, decided to not go pro but go to the University of New Hampshire to play collegiate hockey. JVR is finally out of college and looking for a NHL roster spot after playing seven games last season with the Flyers AHL affiliate, the Phantoms. If he keeps up his torrid pace in the preseason, there's no reason that he should be kept off the big club's roster.