The Leafs made a splash in the trade pool this weekend, swapping defenseman Luke Schenn for left winger James van Riemsdyk in a draft-day trade with the Philadelphia Flyers.The clear punch line in this trade is the reuniting of the Schenn brothers, as Brayden currently plays in Philly. This comes just a day after Pittsburgh traded Jordan Staal to Carolina – where he’ll also play with his brother.
Comparisons among van Riemsdyk and Schenn are sure to be plentiful, since they’re both young players with strong backgrounds – but let’s end those comparisons and instead, welcome a promising young forward to the Leafs organization.
van Riemsdyk, 23, was born in Middletown, New Jersey. He’s spent a significant portion of his career with the U.S. national team development programs and played in the World Juniors for three years, never reaching the OHL or any Canadian Hockey League.
He had been with the Flyers his entire pro career, after being drafted by Philadelphia second overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, behind Patrick Kane. He also competed in the IIHF World Championships last year.
In his first NHL season (’09-’10), he played 78 games and had fifteen goals and twenty assists. He ended the season with a -1 and 30 penalty pinutes.
The next year, he produced similar numbers in some category. In 75 games, he had 21 goals and 19 assists, and ended the season with an impressive plus-15 rating.
Finally, this season, van Riemsdyk played in 43 games and had 11 goals and 13 assists. A hip injury forced him off the ice for part of the season, but it’s expected that he won’t need surgery.
Although Schenn will surely be missed, van Riemsdyk will be a welcome addition to the Leafs’ lineup when the season begins in October.