JVR Could Be “Center” Of Attention; Post-Draft Posturing

With the acquisition of James Van Riemsdyk from Philadelphia for Luke Schenn yesterday, the Maple Leafs added a talented 23 year old scorer who has three NHL seasons under his belt, who is locked up for six years, as he signed a contract extension with the Flyers before last season.

The addition of Van Riemsdyk would seem to give Toronto depth at left wing, with Joffrey Lupul and Clarke MacArthur already on the squad, but it is possible that the Leafs may give the big forward at look at center, where the club has long had a need for size.

“I have talked to Randy….where he plays and with whom he plays is up to the coach. He has played a fair amount of center in his career, he was a center until he turned pro. I envision him mostly on the wall, but if Randy wants to try him in the middle, that’s fine too.” said GM Brian Burke following the deal.

“From my perspective….we are not big enough up front….not that he plays huge, he’s not a big banger, but he’s a big body with skill, those guys are hard to eliminate.”

There will be a lot more roster maneuvering in the next few weeks and it is possible that the stockpile on the wing could be remedied by a trade, but if no impact moves for a Ryan Getzlaf or Paul Stastny are made, it is likely that Toronto will see if Van Riemsdyk can handle a move to the middle.

One thing can be said in the wake of this deal, the Leafs are not as tough a team today without Schenn and with the addition of the skilled Van Riemsdyk, which will have to be addressed by Burke with other moves this summer.