Van Riemsdyk drafted second overall in 2007 with high hopes had struggled for ice time among the depth of Flyers forwards. He was hampered by injuries last season missing 39 games with concussion, rib injuries and a broken foot.
With Van Reimsdyk’s 6’3 200 pound frame he brings size, skill depth to the Leafs offensive core.
“He brings size, foot speed, skill and this is a guy who can make a difference on our hockey team,” Brian Burke said of Van Riemsdyk. “I don’t want to create any illusion that that we’re acquiring James Van Riemsdyk as a physical presence. This is not a big banger this is a guy who uses his size when he should, uses it to create offensive opportunities, uses his size down low and is responsible in his own end. This is a skilled player with size who uses his size effectively.”
Only a year removed from his 21 goal and 40 point breakout season in 2011 coupled with seven goals in 11 playoff games there is reason to believe the 23 year old winger has barely tapped into his potential.
Van Riemsdyk will be locked up long term with a cap hit of $4.25 million over six years signed more on potential than current talent.
There is an off chance Van Riemsdyk could fill the void the Leafs have at center. He played center during his college years with the New Hampshire Wildcats and was converted to a winger by the Flyers when Van Riemsdyk went pro.
Schenn enters the Flyers system looking for a fresh start after struggling in Ron Wilson’s run and gun system and finding his ice time significantly reduced from previous seasons. Listed at 6’2 and 230 pounds Schenn brings a physical edge to the Flyers defence.
“He’s a big defenseman that plays physical and gritty, and he can move the puck. To get guys like this you’ve got to be picking high in the draft. It’s an opportunity for us,” Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren said of Schenn.
Schenn was rushed into the NHL after breaking the Leafs shaky defensive roster at only eighteen. He was at one time considered to be future captain material but his development has struggled. Defenceman take longer to mature and Schenn has the promise to be a physical shutdown defenseman for the Flyers down the road.
Schenn was the longest serving Leaf playing four seasons in the blue in white. Mikhail Grabovski now takes that title as the only Leaf who played in the pre Burke era.