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When the Flyers made JVR the No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, they believed they had found the next great power forward. Through most of the 2010-2011 regular season, he appeared to be a solid, if not spectacular, player. One who showed flashes of brilliance, but still had a lot of work to do if he hoped to prove himself worthy of being the second overall pick.
But during the latter part of the season and into the playoffs, it all seemed to finally come together for JVR. He was, quite simply, one of the most dominant players in the playoffs through the first two rounds. He showcased his speed and strength. He imposed his will on two strong defensive teams game-planning against him. In just 11 games, JVR recorded 70 shots on goal, with seven of them finding the back of the net. Seven goals in 11 games on two of the top three goaltenders in the world. Not too shabby for a 22-year-old kid.
In 2011-2012, look for JVR to continue to blossom. With Jeff Carter and his 449 attempted shots (335 on net, 114 missed) in Columbus, van Reimsdyk will have many more opportunities to pull the trigger on his exceptionally good shot. With the arrival of playmaking great Jaromir Jagr, he should have ample opportunities to use his size, speed and skill to make life miserable for opposing defenders and netminders.
Even if he attempts only four shots per game (significantly less than his 6.4 shots/game during the playoffs), JVR will be on-track to score 40 goals, assuming he continues to shoot a fairly average 12.1 percent. With van Reimsdyk, it was never a question of talent. It was a question of whether or not he'll ever have the chance to be a No. 1 option on a line with Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux.
Well, Jeff Carter is gone and Claude Giroux showed the world that he's content to be an all-around offensive playmaker. The No. 1 option role belongs to JVR, and 40 goals is certainly possible.