On day two of the 2012 NHL Draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired a player that was rumored to be coming to town for a good part of last season. James van Riemsdyk comes to the Maple Leafs with the potential to be one of their premiere offensive forwards for some time to come.
The question is what kind of offensive production Leaf fans can expect out of him in his first season in the Blue & White. In his three seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, van Riemsdyk showed the potential of a former second overall pick but never broke out because of the depth the Flyers had on offense. The hope is that he can finally fulfill his potential now that he will be given consistent top-six, if not top-line minutes.
With the current plan to have van Riemsdyk play center between Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel, I will project what van Riemsdyk stats could look like if he plays on that line the entire season. That being said, I don’t think they would be that different than if he was to play with Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin.
Here are the stats that I think James van Riemsdyk will put up in his debut season with the Maple Leafs.
2009-10 Total: 15
2010-11 Total: 21
2011-12 Total: 11
If van Riemsdyk had not gotten hurt last season, it’s probably fair to say that he would have at least gotten to the 25-goal mark based on the progression from his rookie season to his sophomore season. In his first season in Toronto, playing with much better players than he had in Philly should boost his goal totals up quite a bit. I would expect him to hit at least the 30-goal mark this season.
2012-13 Total: 31
2009-10 Total: 20
2010-11 Total: 19
2011-12 Total: 13
At times, playing on the third line in Philadelphia, van Riemsdyk's line mates were rookie Brayden Schenn and surprise-scorer Wayne Simmonds. If he had played a full season on that line, he would have been the primary goal scorer of the line, and would be getting the odd assist. Playing with Lupul and Kessel will not only get him a lot of goals, but he should get a good number of assists as well.
Lupul will be the primary playmaker, getting most of his points from assists, but seeing that Kessel is still going to be the Leafs go-to guy when it comes to offense, it makes sense that van Riemsdyk will be getting in on more than a few of Kessel’s goals.
2012-13 Total: 29
2009-10 Total: 35
2010-11 Total: 40
2011-12 Total: 24
Some of you might think I’m crazy because of the stats I have predicted for van Riemsdyk to reach this year. The reality is though that in the NHL, players entering their third or fourth seasons, if they’re not named Crosby, Ovechkin or Stamkos, usually hit their breakout year. Even though van Reimsdyk missed half the year, I still think that he is in line to breakout next season.
If he comes anywhere close to the point totals I see him putting up, the Leafs will be in a very good position, and it will be fair to say that they got fair value in the trade that acquired him.
2012-13 Total: 60