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JvR in his natural position
JvR and Matt Carle.
Technically these are two separate predictions but I'll try to condense the best I can.
Quite possibly two of the hardest Flyers to sit down and watch. Ever.
Frustration is the only adequate emotion when it comes to describing both players' games in their Philadelphia tenures.
Both van Riemsdyk and Carle will be suiting up elsewhere in 2012-13 and their absences alone will improve the Flyers.
JvR was a skilled, big-bodied forward with strong skating ability, decent hands and a lot of athleticism. He should have been much better, except he simply was not tough enough.
Matt Carle was an under-sized defenseman who moved the puck well (although his breakout passing was never the same once he didn't have Pronger creating space for him) He put up some assists and logged ice time.
First van Riemsdyk.
The move away from Philly should be a fine change of scenery for the former second-overall pick.
Rumor has it that the Maple Leafs are considering moving JvR to center to make better use of his size and puck-handling abilities.
If van Riemsdyk centers Toronto's top line of Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul he will have a great season.
Just look at Lupul's numbers last season as proof of the Kessel effect.
Lupul averaged 0.28 goals per game and 0.57 points per game over the first seven seasons of his career.
In 2011-12 playing with Phil Kessel, Lupul scored 25 goals in 66 games (0.38 per game) and averaged over one point per game (67 points in 66 games).
Over his first three seasons JvR averaged 0.51 points per game, almost exactly the same as Lupul.
Bold Prediction: James van Riemsdyk will set career highs in goals and points with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2012-13, by netting 27 goals and 55 points.
Matt Carle, on the other hand, is in a bit more of a bind.
Carle struggles in his own zone and is now the highest-paid defenseman on the Tampa Bay Lightning, who gave up a staggering 281 goals last season, by far the most in the NHL.
Bold Prediction: Matt Carle is a minus (-) player for Tampa and the Lightning, again, give up the most goals in the league.