van Riemsdyk Shines, Tavares Mediocre in Respective Preseason Debuts

Two of the most hyped rookies coming into this NHL season, John Tavares and James van Riemsdyk, made their NHL debuts last night in preseason games Wednesday night.

Tavares, the top pick in the 2009 Draft, did nothing remarkable in his debut game last night against the Oilers in Edmonton.  He also managed to make a bland first impression on Mark Spector of SportsNet Ontario:

[Tavares] had one special moment in Wednesday’s 3-2 loss at Edmonton, Tavares admitted afterwards. "But I’m going to keep that to myself."

Great.

He’s a good kid and a hell of a hockey player, but for now the No. 1 overall pick from last summer’s draft is about as spicy as a glass of milk.

It was a much better night for van Riemsdyk, the second overall pick in the 2007 draft.  Picking up a juicy rebound in the slot, van Riemsdyk scored the Flyers' lone goal in their 3-1 loss to the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Travis Hughes of SB Nation Flyers blog Broad Street Hockey is among those impressed:

James van Riemsdyk continues to up his game. We mentioned before the challenges he's faced thus far in training camp, and he's continuing to up the ante. He scored the lone Flyer goal last night, an unassisted shot from the wing that snuck by Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard. Considering that Jeff Carter, Scott Hartnell, Johan Franzen, Pavel Datsyuk, and Tomas Holmstrom were all on the ice for his tally, it's an impressive feat.

van Riemsdyk had angered many Flyers fans by choosing to stay at the University of New Hampshire for his sophomore year, but continued goal scoring is a good way for him to quickly make up for that.

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