The Toronto Maple Leafs are linked to bringing back veteran forward James van Riemsdyk. NHL insider Mike Augello of reported that Toronto is interested in signing low-cost free-agent forwards. One name that Augello mentioned is van Riemsdyk who played in Toronto from 2012 until 2018. “They say you can never go home again, but the 35-year-old JVR went back to Philadelphia after spending six seasons in Toronto. Van Riemsdyk scored 11 goals for Boston last season and his top-six days may be over with, but the Leafs are looking for options,” Augello wrote in his article.

After agreeing to a one-year $1 million contract with the Boston Bruins the previous season, van Riemsdyk showed that he was still a viable player by finishing the regular season with 11 goals and 27 assists for 38 points in 71 games, as well as 1 goal and 4 assists for 5 points in 11 playoff games. The forward from the United States played on the Bruins’ third line and averaged 13:30 of ice time. Despite his decline as a top-line winger, van Riemsdyk can still be a productive option for the Maple Leafs on the third line.

Currently, Pontus Holmberg—who is more of a fourth-line player—is predicted to play as Toronto’s third-line left winger. Toronto may move everyone down the lineup and improve their forward group by acquiring van Riemsdyk.

The forward, who is listed as the top player available on, is expected to sign a one-year contract worth $1.2 million in free agency.


Toronto Maple Leafs

van Riemsdyk’s Time in Toronto

On June 23, 2012, van Riemsdyk was traded by the Philadelphia Flyers to the Maple Leafs in exchange for Luke Schenn. The American forward quickly rose through the ranks and eventually played on the top line with Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul. The following season, he shared the line with Kessel and Bozak.

After six years in Toronto, van Riemsdyk signed a five-year $35 million to return to the Flyers. In total, van Riemsdyk skated in 413 games recording 154 goals and 140 points for 294 points. In the playoffs with the Maple Leafs, he added 7 goals and 7 assists for 14 points in 20 games. van Riemsdyk played five more years with the Flyers before signing with the Bruins for the 2023-24 NHL season.

Nick Robertson Asks for Trade From Toronto

Nick Robertson’s request for a trade is one of the reasons Toronto would be interested in acquiring a winger.

On June 30, NHL source Chris Johnston said that Robertson, a pending RFA, had requested a trade from the Maple Leafs and had no intention of re-signing.

Although Robertson has requested a trade, Maple Leafs General Manager Brad Treliving has stated that he still sees the American forward playing a significant role on the team.

“Certainly, I know there’s some frustration on Nick’s part. But we view Nick as a valuable player, and there’s a great opportunity for him here. We need him to perform well for us,” Treliving said to the media on July 1. “I’m not going to engage in speculation or public back-and-forth. We’ll leave it at that and continue to move forward.”

Robertson, drafted 53rd overall in the 2019 NHL Draft by Toronto, has skated in only 87 regular-season games due to injuries and being a healthy scratch. In those games, he has recorded 17 goals and 17 assists for 34 points.

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