So it finally happened. The man Brian Burke said he wasn't shopping has been dealt to Philadelphia for LW James van Riemsdyk. This move had been rumored for close to a year, with reports back in the early Spring that the Flyers front office had been heavily scouting the Leafs top overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft.
Continue along after the jump...
First, a warm thank-you to Luke Schenn for his four years of service. The Leafs gave up a 2nd and 3rd round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft in order to move up from #7 overall to #5 overall, where Schenn was selected by then interim GM Cliff Fletcher. Schenn made the Leafs out of camp as a 19-year-old and never looked back. Last summer, he was awarded 5 year, $3.6 million contract after a strong second half during his third season. However, this past fall started slow and Schenn never recovered. He, Mike Komisarek, and Cody Franson took turns in the press box, with none being able to lock down a permanent spot. This deal moves a bit of money from the back end to the front, and also opens a hole on the team for 24-year-old Korbinian Holzer.
Van Riemsdyk, 23, was Philadelphia's top pick, 2nd overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. At 6'3 and 215 lbs, van Riemsdyk offers the Leafs an intriguing package of size and skill. After two seasons with the University of New Hampshire and two with the Flyers, JvR looked prime for a breakout season. However, he was held back by multiple injuries, including ankle, foot, and head injuries (concussion). Van Riemsdyk enters a new six year deal in the Fall that carries a $4.25 million cap hit per year.