The Flyers did not have to wait until the AHL season got underway for James Van Riemsdyk to suddenly turn it on.
The former second-overall selection in the 2007 draft dominated in the third annual Flyers – Capitals rookie scrimmage, scoring four goals and assisting on one, as the Flyers walloped the Capitals, 7-3, Friday at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J.
Three of JVR’s four tallies came with him firmly placed in front of the net, with his fourth coming on a shorthanded breakaway. On the SHG, he faked a forehand shot and tucked the puck softly backhand through the five-hole. All throughout rookie camp Van Riemsdyk practiced on the defensive side of shorthanded drills. And with his size and speed, the Flyers are clearly trying to round out his two-way game, while trying to create an all-around weapon.
“The thing most pleasing to me was he wasn’t just hanging around the perimeter scoring goals or finesse goals. He really dug in fought for a loose puck that ended up a goal,” said Flyers’ coach John Stevens. “There was a loose puck behind him on another goal and the last goal, the breakaway was high-end. He showed the competitiveness we wanted to see.”
Other standouts were defenseman Kevin Marshall, who scored two assists and played a poised game. Goalie Adam Morrison who was peppered from the point, but kept making the saves through traffic. And Zac Rinaldo, who despite being labeled as an agitator, showed off his speed by earning a penalty shot and shorthanded breakaway. He was turned away on both.