New Hampshire sophomore forward James van Riemsdyk has decided to forego his last two seasons as a Wildcat to sign a contact with the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League. van Riemsdyk, the number two overall draft choice of the Flyers in 2007 and the highest UNH draft pick in school history, is expected to be assigned to the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League.
van Riemsdyk was a Hockey East All-Rookie selection in 2007-08 as he posted 34 points on 11 goals and 23 assists. This past season, he was an All-Hockey East Second Team honoree, led the team with 40 points (17g, 23a) and ranked first on the team and second in the nation in short-handed goals with four. van Riemsdyk closed out the 2008-09 season a +14 and led the team in shots on goal at 138. van Riemsdyk finished his career with 74 points (28 goals, 46 assists) in just 67 games played.
A highly touted recruit for head coach Dick Umile and the Wildcats, van Riemsdyk came to UNH after two seasons with the United States National Program under head coach Ron Rolston. In addition, he represented the United States in each of the past three World Junior Championship and was the tournamentâ€™s leading scorer in 2008.
“It has been my lifelong dream to one day play in the NHL,” said van Riemsdyk in a statement. “The University of New Hampshire provided me with the opportunity to become a student-athlete at one of the countryâ€™s most highly-regarded ice hockey programs. This opportunity has allowed me to be able to continue my development as an athlete, student, and person. My teammates during these past two years have been extraordinarily supportive and the friendships I have made here will last a lifetime.”