The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that they have signed 6’3”, 205-pound left wing James van Riemsdyk to a multiyear entry-level contract beginning with the 2009-10 season, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren.
Van Riemsdyk, the second overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, has also signed an amateur tryout for the remainder of the current season and has been assigned to the Flyers’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms. He will be available to play in tonight’s Phantoms-Albany River Rats game at the Wachovia Spectrum.
“We are pleased to have James in the fold and look forward to monitoring his development more closely,” said Holmgren in making the announcement. “It was a difficult decision for James to leave school, but we both believed that it was in his best interest to do so. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the University of New Hampshire, and in particular, Coach Dick Umile and his staff for not only their understanding but their dedicated work with James over the last two seasons.”
“Obviously, this is a thrill of a lifetime,” said van Riemsdyk. “This is a day I have been dreaming about ever since I got drafted by the Flyers. Just to have this opportunity is something I am really grateful for.”
Van Riemsdyk, 19, recently completed his sophomore season at the University of New Hampshire, where he recorded 17 goals and 23 assists for 40 points in 36 games. He led the Wildcats in scoring and finished eighth overall in the Hockey East Conference (NCAA). He was tied for seventh in goals and assists, and finished first in shorthanded goals (4). He was honored as an All-Hockey East Second Team selection at the conclusion of the regular season.
Also this year, van Riemsdyk represented the United States for the third time in his career at the 2009 World Junior Championship tournament in Ottawa, Ontario, where he recorded four goals and six assists for 10 points as Team USA finished in fifth place.
In 2007-08 as a freshman at UNH, van Riemsdyk recorded 11 goals and 23 assists for 34 points in 31 games, finishing third on the team in scoring and tied for 13th in Hockey East. He was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team and was fourth in the nation in scoring by a rookie. In the 2008 World Junior Championship tournament in the Czech Republic, van Riemsdyk led the tournament in scoring with five goals and six assists for 11 points as the United States lost the Bronze Medal game to Russia.