Boston Bruins add veteran middle six depth in James van Riemsdyk

Boston Bruins, James van Riemsdyk (Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
Boston Bruins, James van Riemsdyk (Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /

After adding forwards Morgan Geekie, Patrick Brown, and Milan Lucic to go with Kevin Shattenkirk on defense, the Boston Bruins added another forward to the mix in James van Riemsdyk.

The contract is for one year and $1 million, a good value signing by Don Sweeney and company as they look to retool on the fly with Taylor Hall traded and Tyler Bertuzzi out the door to the Toronto Maple Leafs. That’s not even mentioning Garnet Hathaway, Tomas Nosek, and Connor Clifton, who are also gone.

Chosen with the second overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, van Riemsdyk has only played for the Philadelphia Flyers and Maple Leafs in his 14-year career. Now, the Middletown, New Jersey native and University of New Hampshire alum returns to New England to play for the Bruins.

James van Riemsdyk will bring quality depth to the Boston Bruins

He plays left wing, which is big with Hall, Bertuzzi, and Nosek all gone through a trade and free agency. He’s been a solid middle six forward throughout his career and can step up to play a top line role in the wake of an injury out of necessity.

Last season, van Riemsdyk potted 12 goals and added 17 assists for 29 points in his 14th season. He was averaging 15:21 of ice time a night while playing in 61 games for the Flyers, who the Bruins dominated last season.

One thing van Riemsdyk has been good at is being available to play. He’s played in 82 games of a season three separate times and has met the 80-game threshold a total of five times. In 2019-2020, he won the Lady Byng Trophy to go with his 2009-2010 Calder Trophy.

Throughout his 14-year career, van Riemsdyk has scored exactly 300 goals, adding 291 assists to give him 591 points. He’s averaged 16:23 of ice time over his 14 seasons and has played 940 games, lining him up to reach 1,000 this year barring an injury that keeps him out for an extended period.

While never winning the Stanley Cup, van Riemsdyk has played seven seasons of hockey in the playoffs, most recently in the playoff bubble in 2019-2020. He has 20 goals and 11 assists in 71 playoff games.

He was also a member of the 2012-2013 Maple Leafs squad. If that doesn’t sound familiar, it’s the year that the Bruins came from 4-1 down to win 5-4 in overtime of game seven, with Patrice Bergeron sealing Toronto’s fate.

While the signing alone may not move the needle too much, van Riemsdyk is a player who can bring value to the Bruins as a middle six winger. Who will center him remains to be seen, but that’s a problem for training camp. Welcome to Boston, James!

Next. It’s time for Boston Bruins fans to welcome home Milan Lucic. dark