Thread: Confirmed with Link: JVR Signs Contract Extension
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09-07-2011, 10:51 AM
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JVR's progression

Overshadowed by today's tragedy but here is Bill's take on JVR which is relevant to the debate. Again..not sure why people are getting so bent around the axle when he's progressing accordingly as I and others have previously mentioned up thread..

Ever since the Flyers signed James van Riemsdyk to a six-year contract extension that will pay him $4.25 million on the salary cap starting in 2012-13, there has been a debate over whether JVR has produced enough in his first two NHL seasons to justify confidence that he will live up to (or exceed) his salary in the years to come.

The 22-year-old van Riemsdyk has scored 36 goals and added 39 assists through his first 153 NHL regular season games (plus 10 goals and 13 points in his first 32 playoff games). These numbers are right about where they should be for a player who goes on to become an upper-echelon NHL player.

Following is a cross section of a dozen current NHL impact players, looking at their production at a similar stage of their NHL careers. Keep in mind that these are NOT always apples-to-apples comparisons.

The player's age when breaking into the NHL, the caliber of the team/teammates with whom he broke in, his early ice ice time, his playing style and the system that his team played are all important factors that affect his point production. You can't go just by the points alone.

Typically, players who are a little older and more physically mature tend to do better off at the outset of their NHL careers. Likewise, power forwards often take longer to start producing points than finesse-oriented playmakers. Young players surrounded by talented teammates on a playoff contender may get more scoring opportunities relative to their ice time but are also likely to see less overall ice time (especially on the power play) than players who break in with non-playoff clubs, such as was the case with Rick Nash.

In a few cases, the NHL lockout of 2004-05 afforded the young player the opportunity to play a full season in the AHL (at a time when the league was bolstered by the presence of other top end young players who would otherwise have been in the NHL that season). Players such as Eric Staal benefited from that AHL season in between their first and second NHL campaigns but that does not show up in the raw numbers.

Jeff Carter (first 2 NHL seasons, rookie at age 20): 143 GP, 37 G, 42 A, 79 PTS
Jarome Iginla (first 2 NHL seasons, rookie at age 19): 152 GP, 34 G, 48 A, 82 PTS
Ryan Kesler (first 3 NHL seasons, rookie at age 19): 158 GP, 18 G, 29 A, 47 PTS
Rick Nash (first 2 NHL seasons, rookie at age 18): 154 GP, 58 G, 38 A, 96 PTS
Pavel Datsyuk (first 2 NHL seasons, rookie at age 23): 134 GP, 23 G, 63 A, 96 PTS
Shane Doan (first 4 NHL seasons, rookie at age 18): 249 GP, 22 G, 40 A, 62 PTS
Nathan Horton (first 2 NHL seasons, rookie at age 18): 126 GP, 42 G, 27 A, 69 PTS
Patrick Marleau (first 2 NHL seasons, rookie at age 18): 155 GP, 24 G, 33 A, 57 PTS
Vincent Lecavalier (first 2 NHL seasons, rookie at age 18): 162 GP, 38 G, 57 A, 95 PTS
Nicklas Backstrom (first 2 NHL seasons, rookie at age 20): 164 GP, 36 G, 121 A, 157 PTS
Eric Staal (first 2 NHL seasons, rookie at age 19): 163 GP, 56 G, 75 A, 131 A
Brendan Morrow (first 2 NHL seasons, rookie at age 20): 146 GP, 34 G, 43 A, 77 PTS

As I see it, van Riemsdyk is right about where you would expect him to be at this point considering that a) he is a big player learning to use his size, b) he broke in on a Flyers team that was deep and forward and expected to contend for the Cup, and c) there were clear cut signs of progress over the course of his two seasons to date.

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