There's no place like home.
That was the vibe when south-Jersey native James van Riemsdyk returned to the Philadelphia Flyers this summer as a free agent, rejoining the organization that drafted him with the second overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft. Following a 36-goal season in Toronto last year, JVR had high expectations to make an immediate impact, but an early season lower-body injury sidelined the forward for sixteen games. This injury attributed to a slower-start than preferred for the 30-year-old left-winger.
Video: JVR discusses his first season back in Philly
Once returning, van Riemsdyk's resilient nature helped him bounce back into the player the organization expected him to be. During the 2018-19 campaign, JVR totaled 27g-21a-48pts in 66 games played. Although van Riemsdyk fell short of his point total from last season (36G-18A-54PTS), his average points per game increased from .67 to .73. Much of the Flyers late season surge can be credited to the improved play of van Riemsdyk, who tallied 20 goals and 10 assists from Jan. 10-March 21, where the Flyers posted a 21-9-1 record. Despite a strong finish to the season, van Riemsdyk has bigger plans in mind for next year after failing to clinch a playoff berth.
Check out some of JVR's more memorable moments of the season below.
After spending six seasons north of the border, JVR had a warm welcome in his return to Philly.
JVR gets a new linemate
Always willing to make a difference on-and-off the ice, van Riemsdyk took time during Hockey Fights Cancer Month to welcome 14-year-old Luke Rogers, who is receiving treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, to the Flyers roster on a one-day contract.
A pigeon flies home
You know we had to talk to G and JVR about this exchange when the two were reunited in Philadelphia.
No look, no problem
Usually known for scoring in front, this time JVR made the highlight reel with a sick dish for a TK goal.
Video: PHI@NJD: van Riemsdyk nets PPG from the slot
Video: PHI@NJD: van Riemsdyk finishes Hartman's no-look feed
In his hometown state, JVR scored early and often against the Devils, earning him Helmet honors in the victory.
James van Hat Trick
Video: MIN@PHI: van Riemsdyk records fourth career hat trick
Video: PHI@TOR: van Riemsdyk earns hat trick with deflection
JVR racked up his fourth and fifth career hat tricks this season, one of which came against his former team.
Before Jake Voracek's game-tying goal and Claude Giroux's overtime winner, it was James van Riemsdyk who ignited the epic Stadium Series comeback.