Flyers fans rejoiced when the team announced the signing of veteran LW, James Van Rimesdyk. A familiar name to many, ‘JVR’ returned to the team who drafted him back in 2009 to finish what he started. When Van Rimesdyk first took to the ice as a member of the Orange and Clad, he was on the team’s third line, partnering an exciting sophomore by the name of Claude Giroux. This time around, there’s another sophomore who carries similar potential.
That man is of course, Nolan Patrick.
It’s hard not to be excited about the player who could well be carrying the future of the franchise on his shoulders. Posting 13 goals and 30 points in 73 regular-season games, Patrick is coming off of a crucial offseason. Having spent the first half of last year recovering from offseason abdominal surgery, this is the first season in the last 3 where surgery recovery won’t be the case. The ceiling is sky high and ‘JVR’ knows it. In fact, it played a role in his decision to return to Philadelphia.
“Yeah, certainly when you are looking at places to play, you want to play with good players.” Van Riemsdyk told reporters after an intense Flyers practice. “I thought that there was lots of good players to play with here. For me, it’s always fun to play with right shot guys in particular because that chemistry seems to be pretty good and the angles are different, that helps stuff as well. Again, it’s been fun to get a chance to play with him these first couple games. Getting to see his growth over the course of last season, even from afar, but the few times I would play him, I remembered later in the year, he was more confident and comfortable. That’s usually what happens. He’s a real talented and skilled player. Has a lot of tools. And the more games you play, the more experience you get. It kind of snowballs for you. I’m sure he’s excited to get his second year under his belt. “
During the short time they’ve spent together, it’s already clear that one of this offseason’s most prized free agents has had his viewpoints reaffirmed by the exciting emergence of Nolan Patrick.
“It’s been fun to get a chance to skate with him. Get a chance to kind of feel out what kind of tendencies he has out there with him and Jake. Obviously, that stuff is a work in progress, but they’re both really smart players and skilled players. Usually when you put players like that together, it makes it a lot of fun out there. “
Chemistry is so important in an NHL locker room and when a free agent chooses his next destination, it’s going to play a monumental role. The Flyers have a young group that’s only going to get better with time and at the epicenter of it all, is Nolan Patrick.
Van Riemsdyk’s decision to don a Flyers jersey once again was one that sparked elation within the fanbase and with good reason. But as opposed to growing with Claude Giroux, he will now be guiding Nolan Patrick through his second NHL season and one that many are pinning with breakout potential. The future is certainly bright and seeing both players on the ice at the same time will be a special moment for Flyers fans everywhere.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports