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Van Riemsdyk realizing potential with Maple Leafs

Monday, 02.25.2013 / 1:20 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Van Riemsdyk realizing potential with Maple Leafs

PHILADELPHIA -- The building is familiar, but the room he got dressed in wasn't the one Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk was used to.

After three seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, van Riemsdyk returns to play his first game at Wells Fargo Center as a visitor.

"It's a lot different now," van Riemsdyk said following the Leafs' practice Monday. "It's weird the things you think about when you walk in here for the first time. You think about all the memories you had playing here, but at the same time it's time to put those in the past and focus on tonight's game."

Van Riemsdyk enters with 11 goals in 19 games, matching the total he had in 43 games with the Flyers last season. Van Riemsdyk said it's a function of being healthy -- he missed time last season with a lower-body injury, a concussion and a broken foot -- and getting more opportunities to play; van Riemsdyk is averaging 19:08 of ice time per game this season, compared to 15:10 last season.

"It's no secret I've been used more here in different situations, more opportunities, and I've been able to capitalize on that," he said. "I always showed when I had those opportunities here in Philly I was able to perform and I've gotten those opportunities a lot more frequently here.

"I don't think I can have any regrets because I know every time I laced up my skates I gave everything I had. It was just one of those things where I know every time I had an opportunity to produce, I did produce. That's all I can control as a player. I can't control too much about how you're used and all that kind of stuff. You can control when you're out there what you can do. I left it all on the ice when I was out there with the Flyers."

Because of that, van Riemsdyk said he had nothing but fond memories of his time with the Flyers, the team that selected him with the second pick of the 2007 NHL Draft.

"I had great memories about playing in Philadelphia," he said. "Nothing bad to say about the time I had here."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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