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Does JVR have a future in Philly?

Mar 1, 2012, 10:31 AM EDT

James van Riemsdyk AP

Good column by John Boruk over at about the future of 22-year-old forward James van Riemsdyk in Philadelphia.

It’s been a less-than-stellar season for the former No. 2 overall draft pick. Many (including myself) thought this would be his breakout campaign after last year’s playoffs when he scored seven times in 11 games and looked dominant at times, but it hasn’t turned out that way. He only has 11 goals in 42 games and was the subject of fairly intense trade speculation prior to the deadline.

Boruk writes:

This season was set up perfectly for the 22-year-old left winger to have a breakout campaign. He was paired with Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr on the Flyers’ top line to start the season, and despite two goals in his first five games, it wasn’t enough to keep that trio paired together. Eight games into the season, Scott Hartnell was given top-line royalty status and four months later, he’s still wearing the crown. Hartnell’s season is what I had envisioned for JVR.

We’ve seen glimpses of stardom: a two-goal game on nine shots in that crazy 9-8 loss to Winnipeg and another two-goal game against the Blackhawks in early January. But the cutoff line between “pretty good” and “great” can be summed up in one word: consistency. And that’s what van Riemsdyk doesn’t possess right now.

Perhaps Flyers fans that have seen JVR more than I have this season can voice their thoughts in the comments section. Has his play warranted the speculation he may be traded, or is it more about the depth of forwards in Philly that’s squeezed him out of a top-six role?

  1. uncledick - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    With a no trade clause kicking in after next season, I would have to say he’ll be gone this summer or at the latest next trade deadline. Maybe a new system will be what he needs to develop into a consistent player, he has the raw talent. Either way, flyers need to find a bonafide stud to play alongside Giroux, he needs help, no byproducts.

    • miketoasty - Mar 1, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      Yea that Jagr guy is terrible. Oh and don’t get me started about that Hartnell guy he can’t pass the puck to save his life.

      • uncledick - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:32 PM

        Youre an idiot if you think Hartnell is a bonafide stud. And Jags is not what he used to.

      • miketoasty - Mar 6, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        Did I say they were? No. I am saying that Giroux is playing with 2 very good players on his line. I doubt you will find many (If any) lines in the league that feature 2 bonafide studs.

  2. icelovinbrotha215 - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    JVR has been less than ‘pretty good’ so far in his career. I just don’t see things getting any better. He doesn’t seem to play like he is hungry. And you can have all the talent in the world (which he doesn’t) but if you don’t play hard night and night, you have players like JVR. Boy, does this team need Prongs to straighten them up.

  3. nhmac - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    I’ve been watching JVR play for about 5-6 years now. At UNH his numbers weren’t spectacular by any means, but you could see in his game that he was a cut above the rest. I was (and still am) convinced that UNH’s coach didn’t know how to get the best out of his talent. So I wasn’t surprised to see that he started off a little slow out of the gates. At times he’s looked like an absolute stud. He was the lone bright spot in a disappointing playoff sweep at the hands of the Bruins last year. Naturally, like everybody else, I thought this would be his breakout year, but he’s never been able to find his footing and consistently produce. Dealing with a concussion hasn’t helped but it’s obvious the tools are there. He did win hardest shot and I believe fastest skater at the Flyers skills competition. Judging by the extension he got in the off season it seems Philly is fully committed to him. I think JVR, who is still only 22, might be a bit of a late bloomer. While he hasn’t lived up to his draft selection, it’s too early to ship him outta town. He’ll come around. It is reasonable to expect he will be a 60+ point, 30 goal scorer for sure.

    • girouxsmonsterrod - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      Amen brotha!!

  4. tcclark - Mar 1, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    one of the worst things to call a professional athlete is unnoticeable, but that is exactly what he’s been this year. I am a flyers fan and I watch pretty much every game, but I haven’t really seen JVR play either because he doesn’t stand out when he hits the ice. He isn’t scoring, but worst of all, he’s not doing anything else either. It’s really unfortunate because the kid has a lot of talent.

    It’s also not completely his fault. Had he stayed on the top line all year, I guarantee he’d be having a much better year. He was taken off of the top line as a way to get Hartnell to play better (He was playing like he belonged in the ECHL). Lavy thought that JVR (more than Jagr) would be fine on the third line with Couturier, but they never developed chemistry, while Hartnell flourished.

    He has lost his playing time because other players are playing well, but we need to get him more minutes. I’ve wanted them to play him with Briere for a while now, but when they did he got a concussion and ended up on the fourth line when he came back. He has played like he’s unmotivated at times, but it’s not all his fault. The only people he’s really had great chemistry with were Giroux and Carter, but he’s not going to get to play with either of them in Philly.

  5. dougr42 - Mar 1, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    JVR’s less-than-spectacular season is the result of two really obvious circumstances. Injury and Depth.

    Besides the concussion, he was playing through a “lower-body” injury early in the season and missed one game because of it. Don’t forget that he had a knee injury last season that caused him to miss a few games and do a conditioning stint in the AHL. Its reasonable to assume that he reaggrivated an old injury early in the season and that affected his play.

    While he was playing hurt early in the year several players were stepping up. He’s lost ice time and line position because of other players having strong seasons, (Schenn, Couturier, Simmonds, Read). He’s been playing on the 3rd and 4th line and not getting a lot of PP time. Who would have expected those 3 rookies to have the years they are?

    I think his grit, speed, and skill will come out in the playoffs just like they did last year. We should expect him to get more ice-time in the playoffs too because he has more experience than half of the starting forwards.

    I stay he sticks around, he’s worth keeping.

  6. dbick - Mar 1, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    JVR is a tough case. He was the #2 overall pick so anything short of superstardom and it seems people want him gone. But while his goals/assists are not what people want them to be his peripheral numbers have actually improved from last year. He’s averaging 11.0 SOG/PER 60 as opposed to 9 last year, and those shots are coming from closer and more dangerous areas. The problem is his shooting % on his SOG has dropped from 11% last year to 8% this year, so he’s getting a ton of shots but just not the results. You have to think over time this will even out and he will be getting the goals that people expect, it’s just a down year with his %.
    And with his assists, his teammates shooting% on SOG while he’s on the ice has also dropped from last year, from 9.5% to 7.4. Even with that he has increased his assist rate by 28% though, so he’s improving while playing with lesser linemates this season.

    I pretty much ripped this comment off of if you want more indepth stuff you can read their article there. But I don’t think JVR should be traded unless it’s for a young defensive stud that the Flyers desperately need.

  7. sheckyrimshot - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    he’s been squeezed out of a top six role because he’s been hurt all year. his name pops up in trade talks because other teams want him. i cant see the flyers trading him unless another team grossly overpays for him. but if he shows up in the playoffs the same way he did last year, some team (toronto) will probably overpay for him.

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