Who Said JVR is Struggling?

James van Riemsdyk has been a disappointment according to many people so far this season. Even before we found out that he's been diagnosed with a concussion and out indefinitly, people were throwing JVR's name around in trade rumors like he was having a horrible season and they were ready to give up on him. I just don't understand it and I feel like we're going to have another Jeff Carter situation with people all over JVR for no reason. Lets take a look at his numbers over the past three regular seasons and two playoffs.

Season GP ESTOI QoC ZS% Crel Con G+A1 G/G P/G PPTOI PPG+A1
2009-10 Regular 78 11.15 3 58.8 8.10 0.59 1.31 0.19 0.45 1.42 2.71
2009-10 Playoffs 21 10.87 4 69.2 26.70 12.88 0.79 0.14 0.29 0.68 0.00
2010-11 Regular 75 12.79 2 52.6 0.50 -0.44 1.56 0.28 0.53 1.31 2.44
2010-11 Playoffs 11 14.87 1 63.4 19.70 7.61 1.83 0.64 0.64 3.65 2.99
2011-12 Regular 37 11.73 1 63.0 2.50 3.04 1.52 0.30 0.59 2.86 2.83

2009-10 to 2010-11: The team didn't change much over these two years, but JVR's role did. He got more than a minute and a half of even strength minutes per game, faced second line competition opposed to third line competition and started in his own zone only 52.6% of the time, down 6.2% from 58.8%. Given the change in usage, even though his Corsi scores went down he improved his scoring (ESG+A1/60) by 19%, his goals per game by 47%, and his points per game by 17.7%. Other than his CorsiRel going down, his power play numbers were the only other negative. In slightly less time, JVR's PPG+A1 dropped, but only by 10%.

2010-11 to 2011-12: Expectations for the 22-year-old (yes, he's still only 22) were sky high, and lets check if he improved or has indeed taken a step backward. His usage has changed with his competition being upgraded from second-line to top-line but his Offensive Zone Start % has risen from 52.6% to 63.0%. With one change making his usage more difficult and the other making it easier I think that you could say the change in his usage has been neutral. Based on his performance in the playoffs last year and the perceived lack of top-end-talent, it was expected that JVR's TOI would increase from 12.79 in the 10-11 regular season, but it has gone down to 11.73 for a variety of reasons that we cannot be 100% certain about (Injuries more than likely are the main culprit). His Corsi Rel went up 2 and Corsi On went up 3.5---both of these numbers proove JVR's consistant ability to drive the play forward, which is impressive for a 22-year-old in his first season against top competition. Although his G+A1 has dropped slightly from last year (-2.5%), his PPTOI/60 has more-than-doubled to 2.86 and his production has improved by 15.6%. Taking both ES and PP scoring into the equation, his total goals-per-game has improved by 7.1% and his points-per-game has improved by 11.3%. Even when comparing JVR's 2010-11 "monster playoff" to this current season, the numbers aren't too far off with his G+A1 falling 17% and his points-per-game falling 10%.

Lastly, I'd like to take at this year's GVT. The stat "GVT" is used to attempt to quantify how many goals a player is worth more than a replacement level player. According to JVR's GVT is 4.3, ranking 174 of every player in hockey (880). He placed 115 of all forwards, meaning he's an above average 2nd liner. GVT is a counting stat, not a rate, so the 4.3 rating is added up for all 37 games he's played. The stat isn't perfect but it does a decent job of painting the picture of JVR's current body of work and it's impressive. A few notables ranking from 150-173: 158-B. Ryan, 4.6 in 39 games; 161- V. Lecavalaer, 4.6 in 40, 165-St. Louis 4.5 in 35; 171-H. Zetterberg 4.3 in 40. And some notables ranking below JVR in GVT: 182-C. Perry 4.1 in 39 (Last years league MVP); 183-M. Richards 4.1 in 34, 196-R. Nash 3.9 in 40, 198- Brandon "The Weasel" Dubinsky 3.8 in 39, and 199-N. Horton 3.8 in 38. Reemer is in some very good company with these numbers and its really hard to even argue.

Nothing in any of the above data even hints that JVR has slowed his development. People forget that he is still so young even though he's one of the longer tenured players on the team and the fourth longest tenured forward (Briere, Giroux, Hartnell). I cannot stress enough how badly I do NOT want to trade JVR. It doesn't make sense given the youth movement to trade a key piece to the puzzle for a defender. Losing JVR cripples our offensive depth, and it puts all kinds of unneeded pressure on our other developing young talent. I'm not going to ask if you are disappointed with JVR's season, I'm only going to ask how disappointed you are, and please don't hesitate to explain yourself.

This item was written by a member of this community and is not necessarily endorsed by <em>Broad Street Hockey</em>.

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