With less than a minute to play and the game locked at one in the University of New Hampshire’s NCAA playoff match up with Boston University, Flyers’ prospect James van Riemsdyk took a hooking penalty that set in motion what should be an interesting post season for JVR. The Terriers scored on the power play, ending the Wildcats’ season.
Now that his season is over, many believe that the former second overall pick in 2007 will decide to join the Flyers’ organization, forgoing his junior and senior years of college. But it might not be that easy.
“I’m not sure how soon it will be, but in the next couple of weeks or so, I’m going to figure out what I’m going to do,” JVR told the Boston Globe.
The Flyers have tried to get JVR out of college before and failed miserably, putting a behind-the-scenes rift between JVR, his family and Flyers’ General Manager Paul Holmgren.
“The environment he’s in now, it might be time for him to move on (from college),” Holmgren said in January. “We tried to get him to come out last summer and he thought he was better off going back, and we said, ‘That’s fine. We’ll support your decision.’ But I still think he would have been better off if he came out last year.”
And with everyone expecting the Flyers to now pounce on an undecided van Riemsdyk, it’s oddly enough not going to happen.
“We’ve talked during the year,” Holmgren told the media yesterday. “I won’t do that (call JVR and family). It’s van Riemsdyk’s decision to make.”
The quote by Holmgren screams of frustration from prior attempts with contact his family. He clearly knows where the family and player stands on the situation and doesn’t feel like his opinion matters, or else he would apply it. This ‘souring’ by the Flyers could have been the root of why JVR’s name popped up at the trade deadline.
Many scouts believe that JVR’s mediocre year was due to the lack of competition. van Riemsdyk is a top caliber player and needs to be challenged at every turn. If not, players who eclipse others in the league, tend to develop bad habits. So when the Flyers wanted him in the AHL to get better and NHL-ready, JVR declined, saying he was happy where he was.
“I’m just trying to wait until I’m ready,” van Riemsdyk said in January. “[The Flyers] have obviously given me their opinions as to what they’ve thought I should do, but I’m kind of going to my support group, which would be my parents, my whole family, and my family advisers to help me make the decisions about hockey.”
Eklund from hockeybuzz.com is reporting that JVR may possibly be close to turning pro, which is what most expect. However, if JVR does return to college for a third year, it would be an unbelievable decision, turning his name to mud in the Flyers’ eyes.