Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Maple Leafs Player Preview: James van Riemsdyk


The NHL Season is quickly approaching, with that in mind we’re going to take a look at who is (likely) to be on the Leafs roster come October 1 in Montreal. Contract numbers via CapGeek.com; Regular Stats via Hockey-reference.com; Nerd stats via behindthenet.ca. For the rest of our Player Previews go here.

Who:

James van Riemsdyk, No. 2, left winger | 6’3″, 211 LBS | 24-years old.

ToT Approved Nicknames:

JVR

History:

4 NHL seasons, 1 with Toronto, 244 career games

Contract Status:

$4.25-million/season through 2017-18

Career Stats:

244 GP 65 Goals 66 Assists 131 Points

2012/2013 Stats:

48 GP 18 Goals 14 Assists 32 Points

Nerd Stats:

On-ice Corsi -9.46; PDO: 1007

You Oughta Know:

Not hockey related whatsoever, but in 2012 JVR made a cameo appearance in the movie This is 40 alongside Scott Hartnell, Ian Laperriere and Matt Carle.

Looking Back:

In his first season with the Leafs JVR showed the blend of size and skill that Philadelphia dreamt about when they drafted him with the second overall pick in 2007. While he had shown flashes of brilliance with the Flyers, JVR was never able to put together the complete package, that is until he was given the opportunity to skate alongside Phil Kessel on the Leafs top line for most of the season, falling just 3 goals short of his career high in 27 less games.

What to Expect:

With a healthy Joffrey Lupul in the lineup to go along with the newly acquired David Clarkson, the Toronto Maple Leafs look to have a solid top 6 group of forwards heading into the 2013/2014 campaign.

The newly found depth up front for the Maple Leafs will hopefully alleviate some of the pressure on their top line. With two legitimate lines, the opposition will now have to pick their poison in regards to who gets their top checkers, which in turn hopefully leads to a little more breathing room for all Leafs.

JVR’s breakout was a result of two changes in his game. Firstly, he was given top line minutes for the first time in his career. Skating alongside Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak for a bulk of the season, JVR logged a career high 19:12 of ice-time per game. He took advantage of this increased ice-time by firing a career high 2.9 SOG/game.

Luck also played a large factor in van Riemsdyk’s breakout as he  saw his shooting percentage increase to 12.9%, up from a career level of 10.7%. Since shooting percentages (among NHL caliber players) are actually greatly based on luck, we can expect JVR’s % to drop back down to around the league average 0f 9-10%.

With that in mind I believe that JVR will show some organic improvement in his game, increasing his shots on goal to around 3.5 per game, and contribute between 25-30 goals to the Leafs this season. He will chip in around the same number of assists, and help Phil Kessel compensate for the fact that they are stuck with Tyler Bozak as their pivot.

 

Tags: Featured James Van Riemsdyk Popular Toronto Maple Leafs

  • R.”Mitch Mitchell.

    Players are stuck with each other, because Management says so.
    It’s not just a quote from Bloggers or the Media in general.