NHL free agency

Bruins sign James van Riemsdyk to one-year contract in low-risk move

The former UNH star is coming to the Bruins on a one-year deal in free agency.

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The Boston Bruins have made their first roster addition in NHL free agency.

The B's announced Saturday they have signed forward James van Riemsdyk to a one-year, $1 million contract.

Van Riemsdyk was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft and has played 14 seasons between the Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs. He spent the last five seasons with the Flyers. Van Riemsdyk scored just 12 goals in 61 games last season, which was half the total of his 2021-22 output. However, over the last five years with the Flyers, van Riemsdyk averaged 19.8 goals scored per season.

Betting that JVR is still someone who can approach 20 goals over the course of a full season is a worthy gamble for the Bruins, especially at the small price of only $1 million. The 34-year-old veteran could play left wing or right wing on the third line in Boston.

Van Riemsdyk also gives the Bruins a good net-front presence, specifically on the power play, which they'll need if Tyler Bertuzzi leaves in free agency. Van Riemsdyk has scored 33 power play goals over the last five seasons.

The Bruins now have around $12.6 million in salary cap space after this deal with Van Riemsdyk. Boston has seven forwards, six defensemen and one goaltender under contract.

It wouldn't be surprising if the Bruins target a few other low-cost veterans on the free agent market.

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