Toronto Maple Leafs power forward James van Riemsdyk says he is a leader by example. (JUSTIN K. ALLER/Getty Images/AFP)
Just eight months ago, a wide-eyed James van Riemsdyk came to Maple Leafs training camp as the new kid on the block.
Now he’s more like a member of the old guard on the team, helping fresh faces such as David Clarkson, Dave Bolland and Jonathan Bernier get acclimatized to their fresh blue-and-white surroundings.
A lot has happened since JVR stepped onto the ice for the first time in a Maple Leafs jersey back in January. From his on-ice chemistry with Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak, to helping the Leafs reach the post-season for the first time since 2004, to the gut-wrenching Game 7 first-round overtime loss to the Boston Bruins, the young power forward has certainly experienced his share of excitement and drama in his one lockout-shortened season in Toronto.
As he prepares to join his teammates for medicals at the MasterCard Centre on Wednesday, JVR sat down with the Sun on the eve of training camp to discuss a variety of topics ranging from Bozak to Kessel to Nazem Kadri’s contract situation to the addition of Clarkson and Jonathan Bernier.