February 24, 2013
Why everyone in van Riemsdyk's hometown is glad he left Philly
By Mike Zeisberger, Toronto Sun

Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk scores againt Buffalo's Ryan Miller. (REUTERS)

Here in this picturesque region of eastern New Jersey, the list of celebrities who grew up around here reads like a who’s who of the rock and entertainment world.

Jon Bon Jovi. Deborah Harry. Steven Van Zandt. Geraldo Rivera. Connie Chung. Maury Povich. An impressive list, indeed.

But on July 16, 2007, the big names all took a back seat to a young local hockey player named James van Riemsdyk.

On that particular occasion, the Middletown Mayor and Township Committee declared it to officially be “James Van Riemsdyk Day” in honour of the “outstanding achievement” of the local-kid-done-good, having been selected second overall in the National Hockey League draft. Young James, then just 18, was presented with a commemorative puck and proclamation at a township committee meeting.

“To go by the local school at the time and to see the sign outside saying it was James van Riemsdyk Day, it was so special, so overwhelming,” recalled Frans van Riemsdyk, James’ father.



CANOE.CA SLAM!