(Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)
By: Andrew DintinoBuzzOnBroad.com
The 23-year old Middletown, New Jersey native was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers with the second overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Some would say that he was rushed, some would say he didn't produce, but tonight, James van Riemsdyk will make his return to Philadelphia as a Toronto Maple Leaf.
In the 2009-10 season, "JVR" earned a full-time roster spot with the big team. During this magical campaign in which the Flyers fell just short in Game 6 of the Cup Finals, van Riemsdyk notched a total of forty one points, six coming the playoffs.
The following season may have been the former Flyers forward's best season in Philly, scoring twenty-one goals and nineteen helpers for a total of forty points. However, it was the playoffs in which James van Riemsdyk proved his real value, scoring seven goals in just eleven games, an impressive stat for his sophomore season.
Following his impressive playoff performance, van Riemsdyk was rewarded with a six year extension worth $25.5M. Unfortunately for the young Flyer, he would only play forty-three regular season games due to a broken foot. He managed to find the back of the net twenty four times and finished the season with twenty-four points.
Trade rumors surrounded James van Riemsdyk when the trade deadline came around, but he stayed put. In the off-season, Paul Holmgren pulled the trigger and sent him to Toronto in exchange for defenseman Luke Schenn.
Coming into his return home, James van Riemsdyk leads his Toronto Maple Leafs in both goals and points. His eleven goals and four assists in nineteen games are very impressive for the young Leafs' forward. To give a comparison, JVR scored eleven goals in his final season in Philadelphia, although he played just forty-three games.
The change of scenary definitely has benefited and will continue to benefit van Riemsdyk. As he has said himself, he is getting far more opportunity to prove his offensive ability in Toronto than he did in Philadelphia.
It will be interesting to see how he is received tonight at the Wells Fargo Center, but many Flyers fans wish him the best.