COLUMBUS, Ohio—Incoming freshman James vanRiemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) of the University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers with the second overall pick in the first round of the 2007 National Hockey League draft held at Nationwide Arena on Friday night in Columbus, Ohio.
James vanRiemsdyk was selected with the second overall pick in the NHL draft on Friday night
"It's been a great experience here, I couldn't be happier. It made me think of all of the hard work and sweat that got me to this moment. I have a lot of work to do from now to make the jump to the NHL and I am really looking forward to it," said vanRiemsdyk.
"I couldn't be happier being a Flyer, it's close to home and a lot of buddies are going to be in the Philadelphia area, so it will be a nice fit for me I think. I am going to take it year by year and see what happens, but next year I am looking forward to going to New Hampshire."
vanRiemsdyk (6-foot 3, 200 pounds) has skated the last two seasons for the United States National Program under head coach Ron Rolston. He led the US Under-18 Team in scoring this season with 63 points (33g, 30a) in 42 games. vanRiemsdyk was the second rated skater among North American players by the NHL’s Central Scouting Service. He represented Team USA in the World Under-18 and the Under-20 Tournaments. vanRiemsdyk was a member of the gold medal winning team of the World Under-18 Championships in 05-06.
He became the highest Wildcat player ever chosen in the 44-year history of the NHL Entry Draft as the 81st draftee in the program’s 80-year history. The previous highest Wildcat draftee was Norm Lacombe with the 10th pick in the 1983 draft by the Buffalo Sabres. vanRiemsdyk becomes the fifth player in team history drafted by the Flyers; Bruce Crowder (1977), Andy Brickley (1980), Steve Morrow (1987) and Bruce MacDonald (1987).
UNH now boasts six players on its current roster selected in the NHL draft; Joe Charlebois (Chicago), Brian Foster (Florida), Peter Leblanc (Chicago), Kevin Regan (Boston and Craig Switzer (Nashville).
The Wildcats officially kickoff the 2007-2008 season on Friday, Oct. 19 against the Boston University Terriers at Agganis Arena. UNH opens their home schedule on Friday, Oct. 13 in an exhibition game against New Brunswick at the Whittemore Center and their official home opener is Friday, Oct. 26 vs. the Colorado College Tigers of the WCHA.