The Philadelphia Flyers played the Washington Capitals in their third annual rookie scrimmage prior to the start of training camp which opens this weekend, and the Flyers’ rookies looked very good en route to a 7-3 victory over the Caps.
No other player looked more determined to make the team than Philadelphia’s first round selection (second overall) in the 2007 NHL Draft, James van Riemsdyk.
JVR made an impressive debut against Washington, potting four goals and assisting one another. But it wasn’t just that he scored four goals, it was how he scored them.
Van Riemsdyk scored three of his four goals while standing in front Washington’s goaltenders. His other goal was a shorthanded breakaway in which he went forehand-to-backhand to slide the puck through the five-hole.
The Orange and Black lost 52 goals this summer, and are relying on some young players to pick up the slack of departed veteran forwards Joffrey Lupul, and Mike Knuble—who signed with the Caps—and, van Riemsdyk is one of the players.
With his size and speed, van Riemsdyk has the potential to be one of the better power forwards in the league if he develops right. That’s one of the things this team is lacking as of now, a guy who can win battles in the corner, stand in front of the net and redirect pucks.
His ability to score goals was put on showcase against Washington in the scrimmage, however his playmaking ability also was put on display. Nearly the end of the first period, van Riemsdyk had a beautiful set up of Rob Bellamy’s goal that made it a 2-1 game.
Of course it was against other rookies, and it was a scrimmage, but van Riemsdyk had a solid debut in an orange jersey. He plays like he did today throughout camp, and the preseason, there’s no question he’ll be on the Flyers. And better yet, he could be playing in the top-six.
Another rookie vying for a roster spot is defenseman Kevin Marshall, who the Flyers drafted in the second round of the 2007 NHL Draft. Marshall is a dark horse to make the team, but he has a chance to maybe earn himself a spot on the Flyers’ roster as a seventh defenseman.
The 20-year-old defenseman recorded two assists against the Capitals, and looked poised out there. His slapper is something to talk about because he showed it a few times today, and had it redirected twice—though his second assist arguably should have been awarded to Marshall as it didn’t seem to be redirected by any Flyer.
Rookie goaltender Adam Morrison was solid in goal for the Flyers, who allowed two goals on 17 shots. Washington unleashed a lot of point shots at Morrison, and he kept turning them away by making saves through traffic.
Philadelphia also unveiled their 2010 NHL Winter Classic jersey, opting to go back to the the sweaters worn by the 1974-75 Stanley Cup champion Flyers team. The jersey is white, with orange on the shoulder and arms, while the name plates on the back are black with white lettering.
Its very cool to see the team go back in the past with them like they did with the orange alternates—which have been rumored to be the team’s new home jerseys. Personally, I think they are very nice.
You be the judge, you like them?