BOSTON -- Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk was all smiles when asked about making a return to Beantown and having the opportunity to practice at Walter Brown Arena on the campus of Boston University the past two days.
After all, van Riemsdyk's first collegiate goal for the University of New Hampshire came against Boston University before 6,037 fans at nearby Agganis Arena on Oct. 19, 2007. It was the first of 11 goals that season for van Riemsdyk, who also notched an assist in the contest.
"I've always had good memories playing here since I had my first college goal at the rink next door, so it's definitely a special place to be back at," van Riemsdyk said with a grin.
The 2007 first round draft pick (No. 2) of the Philadelphia Flyers was a Hockey East All-Rookie selection in 2007-08 after posting 34 points. He was an All-Hockey East Second Team honoree in 2008-09 when he led UNH with 40 points (17 goals) and ranked first on the team and second in the nation in shorthanded goals with four.
He'd finish his career with 28 goals and 74 points in 67 games for New Hampshire and was a two-time semifinalist for the Walter Brown Award, given to the top American-born college hockey player in New England.