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Blog Entry

Breakout players: JVR ready to shine in Philly

Posted on: September 22, 2011 4:16 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2011 5:48 pm
 
Vanr1

By: Adam Gretz

There are plenty of new faces in the Philadelphia Flyers locker room this season, and they are going to have the difficult task of replacing the offensive production that belonged to several of last season's top-scorers that are no longer with the team, including Mike Richards (traded), Jeff Carter (traded) and Ville Leino (free agency). Players like Danny Briere and Claude Giroux are still there to help lead the charge, and big things are expected from 2007 No. 2 overall pick James van Riemsdyk.

The 22-year-old van Riemsdyk is entering his third season in the league and signed a brand new six-year, $26.5 million contract extension earlier this summer, coming off a 21-goal, 19-assist season for the Flyers in 2010-11. Solid numbers for a second-year pro, but it was during the playoffs where he really started to excel. Considering the expensive new deal he signed a couple of months ago, it's pretty obvious the Flyers expect him to continue his development and become a top player in a suddenly re-tooled Flyers lineup. And it's something he should be able to do.

Van Riemsdyk's breakout started during last year's playoffs when he played top-line minutes against Buffalo and Boston, typically against their best players, and finished tied for the team lead in playoff goals with seven. Along with the goals he was arguably the Flyers' best overall forward in the playoffs, making an impact every time he stepped on the ice, even with star players like Richards and Carter still on the roster.

That should continue to be the case in 2011.

He's going to be asked to take on a larger role for the Flyers this season, and as he showed in last year's playoffs, when the game becomes a little faster and goals a little harder to come by, he is more than capable of handling that assignment. Thirty-or-more goals shouldn't be out of the question.

Four more players, in no particular order, that could be on the verge of a breakout season…

OshieT.J. Oshie, Blues A former first-round pick by the Blues in 2005, Oshie has had his ups and downs in St. Louis, including a suspension last season following an unexcused absence. He's reportedly shown up to Blues camp in top shape and has apparently dedicated himself to becoming more of a pro. Talent has never been an issue for the 24-year-old Oshie, and now that he appears to be in great shape and committed to becoming a top player, a breakout season could be right around the corner.


SubbanP.K. Subban, Canadiens With Andrei Markov's status for the start of the season up in the air due to a setback in his recovery from a knee injury, as well as the departure of Roman Hamrlik and James Wisniewski, Subban could quickly become the top offensive option for the Canadiens along the blue line. And the flashy 22-year-old definitely has the tools to make a huge impact. He's kind of a polarizing player at this point in his career -- among both fans and players -- and seems to have that "love him or hate him" attraction, but there's no denying the ability and upside. As a rookie he scored 14 goals to go with 24 assists, which is impressive enough, but he's capable of doing even more damage to opponents.

WilsonColin Wilson, Predators There is perhaps no team in the NHL that relies on its farm system more than the Nashville Predators. This year's team has a couple of interesting youngsters including Nashville native Blake Geoffrion, who scored six goals in 20 gameas last year, and Craig Smith, a fourth-round pick in 2009 that had a sensational summer at the World Championships and the recent prospects tournament. There's also former first-round pick Colin Wilson who has a ton of talent but has yet to fully realize it at the NHL level. Entering the final year of his entry level contract, this could be the season the 21-year-old forward becomes the player the Predators anticipated when they selected him at the top of the 2008 draft.


CarlsonJohn Carlson, Capitals Like Subban, Carlson is coming off an excellent rookie season with the Capitals and has All-Star level potential. He already has experience playing top-pairing minutes -- he also saw time in every situation, including the power play and the penalty kill  as a rookie -- and is loaded with offensive ability. One of the top young defensemen in the NHL and figures to be a core player for one of the best teams in the NHL.

NHL season preview schedule
Wed., Sept. 21: Step-back players Tues., Sept. 27: Atlantic Division
Thur., Sept. 22: Breakout players Wed., Sept. 28: Central Division
Fri., Sept. 23: Southeast Division Thur. Sept. 29: Northeast Division
Mon., Sept. 26: Pacific Division Fri., Sept. 30: Northwest Division

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.


Comments
kkjyywlpo
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 5:04 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jul 20, 2007
Posted on: September 27, 2011 1:52 pm
 

Breakout players: JVR ready to shine in Philly

And my point is that Jagr is a tool and as far from a leader as there is on the ice.  I could care less if he was a captain.  Actions speak louder than C's on a chest.



Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: September 25, 2011 11:08 pm
 

Breakout players: JVR ready to shine in Philly

LMAO!  Jagr a leader?  Good luck with that!  He will lead in taking shifts off.

You can LMAO, ROFL and whatever else you want. 


The point was simply that there are several players on the Flyers who have been captains in the NHL.  There won't be a void in leadership, even if Jagr doesn't provide it.........


The only void is the space between your ears. 



Since: Feb 12, 2008
Posted on: September 25, 2011 10:32 pm
 

Breakout players: JVR ready to shine in Philly

John Carlson could be in line for a big year.  He will undoubtedly be the Capitals top defensemen. I also like second year Centerman Marcus Johansson to have a big year as well. He could very well challenge Backstrom for the top line if Backstrom continues to struggle and regress like last year.




Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: September 25, 2011 9:45 pm
 

Breakout players: JVR ready to shine in Philly

It will be a case of what the breakout players have learned in the minor leagues, and from the senior pros at all franchises last season, and translating their skills into the national hockey league games.

Oshie appears to be the most intriguing player entering 2011-12 season after a turbulent start to his pro career.



Since: Jul 20, 2007
Posted on: September 25, 2011 10:42 am
 

Breakout players: JVR ready to shine in Philly

LMAO!  Jagr a leader?  Good luck with that!  He will lead in taking shifts off.



Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: September 25, 2011 7:22 am
 

Breakout players: JVR ready to shine in Philly

JVR may struggle out of the gate . with out richards and carter, philly will lack leadership. I like  JVR , but loosing 2 top lineman will hurt him early on. look for him to step up as the season wears on though. 


Why would leadership be an issue when the Flyers have several players who have been captains for other teams?  Pronger, Briere Jagr and Timmonen were all captains previously.  There will be no void in leadership because there are plenty of leaders on that team. 

I do have concerns about the fact that Carter and Richards are no longer with the team, but leadership is not one of them.   




Since: Apr 1, 2008
Posted on: September 23, 2011 7:00 pm
 

Breakout players: JVR ready to shine in Philly

 JVR may struggle out of the gate . with out richards and carter, philly will lack leadership. I like  JVR , but loosing 2 top lineman will hurt him early on. look for him to step up as the season wears on though. 



Since: May 21, 2008
Posted on: September 23, 2011 9:29 am
 

Breakout players: JVR ready to shine in Philly

Good point, but he was on the ice against the top pairing for most of the playoffs last year. I don't expect him to take a step backwards, but I certainly don't think he will keep the pace he did in the playoffs, for an entire season.



Since: Jul 18, 2007
Posted on: September 22, 2011 7:26 pm
 

Breakout players: JVR ready to shine in Philly

I love JVR and would take him on the Pens any day - that said wait until he routinely sees the top D pairing on the other team. I'm expecting a step back, not forward. The Flyers have 1 strong and 1 decent line, not the 3 solid lines they've had in years past.


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