Toronto Maple Leafs: Should They Trade James Van Riemsdyk?

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Oct 28, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk (21) takes a shot on Buffalo Sabres goaltender Michal Neuvirth (34) during the second period at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Cynthia Bin

JVR could be an integral part of the rebuild. To rebuild successfully, and to make sure you don’t prolong it, you can’t throw everything out but the kitchen sink (assuming that Kessel, Lupul and Bozak will probably be gone).

JVR is still relatively young at 26 and has some real valuable qualities that he could use to be a role model for the up and coming prospects. Not to mention he’s one of the few Leafs who can actually score. Yes, he had an off season but every member of the Leafs did.

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JVR harnesses the ability to screen goaltenders, drive to the net and he can work in the real difficult zones down low. He’s also an excellent skater (in offensive situations). JVR could use some work on his defensive game. However, he, like Jake Gardiner who was mentioned in the previous post, sometimes lacks focus.

If JVR fine tunes his defensive game he could be also be a real weapon. Working on back-checking is key. The floating aimlessly in the defensive zone has to stop. As we have all seen in the past the goalies can’t always bail the players out when they get into trouble. Being 6’3 JVR has the size he just needs to learn to utilize it.

Most of these issues are coachable, what it comes down to is systems and hopefully with Babcock at the helm JVR will improve his game and inspire some drive, causing JVR to play with a stronger work ethic.

At the end of the day if the Leafs get a sweet enough deal for JVR they might trade him but they need to either make sure that they get another player with experience and who could be a role model to the young guns and a pick. Which personally I think would be a little counter-productive.

You can’t rebuild a team without a little guidance; it will just take that much longer.

Another pro trade scenario would be a top prospect and a draft pick. Personally, JVR is one of the players I would like to see them keep. He has all the right attributes (Size, Speed, Long Reach, Screening abilities, amazing skill set.) to be a star it’s just comes down to if the coaching staff can get him to utilize them.

Next: Should the Leafs trade Jake Gardiner?

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