Flyers lure van Riemsdyk out of school
The Philadelphia Flyers have convinced U.S. collegiate star James van Riemsdyk to leave school early, signing the forward to a multi-year, entry-level NHL deal beginning with the 2009-10 season.
Van Riemsdyk, 19, has also been inked to an amateur tryout for the remainder of the current campaign and has been assigned to the AHL's Philadelphia Phantoms, the Flyers announced Wednesday.
"We are pleased to have James in the fold and look forward to monitoring his development more closely," Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said. "It was a difficult decision for James to leave school, but we both believed that it was in his best interest to do so."
The Flyers selected van Riemsdyk with the second overall pick of the 2007 draft. The six-foot-three, 205-pound native of Middletown, N.J., just completed his sophomore season at the University of New Hampshire, where he led the NCAA team with 40 points (17 goals) in 36 games.
"I just thought signing at this point would help me get my feet wet a little bit in the professional game and start working on some things that I want to improve upon," said van Riemsdyk. "Obviously, this is a huge jump in level of play."
Van Riemsdyk represented the United States for the third time at the world junior championship this year in Ottawa, recording 10 points (four goals) as the Americans finished fifth.