What We Need From JVR

JVR was drafted second behind Patrick Kane in 2007. He took his time in college, and finally played his rookie year last season. 15 goals, 20 assists in the regular season, and 3G, 3A in the playoffs. It’s a nice start, but for the 2nd overall pick, we need more. ll we heard about is how good of a scorer he is, how clutch he is, and how talented he is.  JVR, it’s time to show us.

MONTREAL, QC - MAY 22: James van Riemsdyk #21 of the Philadelphia Flyers looks on from the bench against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre on May 22, 2010 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The man drafted ahead of him has scored 21, 25 and 30 goals, and jumped from 72 to 88 points. During that same time, JVR stayed in school, thinking he would improve while playing out his college career.  Rumors swirled that the Flyers brass wasn’t too thrilled with this, that they didn’t like how he was developing, and wanted to trade him.  Of course they didn’t, and here we are today.

He played well in October and November, but pretty much disappeared after that. His 3G, 3A in the playoffs were nothing special, and we could have used a bit more from him, especially against Chicago.  The best thing he did was get crushed into the boards on a daily basis towards the end of the season and the playoffs.  You grew to expect it, along with dancing guy, the cup game, and kiss cam.  You could tell he just wasn’t used to the NHL grind and the length of the season.

Now with Gagne gone, our wingers are pretty suspect. We’re relying on Hartnell, Leino, Giroux, Zherdev and JVR to provide perimeter offense. We badly need JVR to develope into an offenseive force this season.  Going into camp, he’ll be on a line with Carter and Zherdev, both of whom are known primarily for scoring.  And we’ve seen that he’s got good vision, and doesn’t mind dishing the puck off. If this combo stays together in the regular season, I expect him to get 50 assists, and possibly 20+ goals. For a 2nd overall pick, are these expectations really too high?

An article on the Flyers site mentioned how he focused on getting stronger this summer. He’s going to have to prove that he’s gotten much better, we don’t have time to wait for him anymore. If he’s not going to live up to the hype, then it’s time to move on without him.  Ship him out, bring in someone that will contribute. This is his last chance to prove that he’s worthy.

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Tags: Jeff Carter JVR Nikolai Zherdev Philadelphia Flyers Simon Gagne

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