James van Riemsdyk wasn't expected to make the Philadelphia Flyers' roster at his first NHL training camp.
Not only has he made the team, he's become a major cog in one of the highest-scoring teams in the NHL.
Van Riemsdyk, 20, was named NHL Rookie of the Month after totaling 4 goals and 9 points in 12 November games. All four of his goals were game-winners, including a stretch of three in a row, against Ottawa, New Jersey and Los Angeles. His 4 game-winning goals are tied for second in the League.
"Obviously before the season it is not something you really think about too much, but it is a nice feather to have in your cap," van Riemsdyk told the Flyers' Web site. "But obviously I want the team's success first and then individual success to come after."
"It's a great honor for him," Flyers coach John Stevens told the team's Web site. "I think he's done a lot of things that surprised a lot of people. We all knew he was a good player but didn't know what level he could get to or sustain it over a period of time. He had a great month and he's being rewarded with the honor."
For the season, van Riemsdyk is second among all rookies with 19 points -- 2 points behind the Islanders' John Tavares despite playing in six fewer games. Van Riemsdyk also is tied with Colorado's Ryan O'Reilly for the rookie lead with 13 assists, and he's tied for third with 6 goals.
Van Riemsdyk has played most of the season on one of the Flyers' top two lines. He's third on the team in scoring and his plus-7 rating also leads the club's forwards.
Be sure to check out NHL.com's coverage of van Riemsdyk's season.
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org