- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 12, 2009

VOORHEES, N.J. | James van Riemsdyk’s statistics during his two seasons at New Hampshire didn’t measure up to the expectations that come with being the second player taken in the NHL draft.

Now a first-year professional, van Riemsdyk looked every bit like an elite prospect Friday, potting four goals and adding a nifty assist to help the Philadelphia Flyers defeat the Washington Capitals 7-3 at Flyers Skate Zone in the franchises’ annual rookie game.

Benjamin Casavant, Cody Eakin and Michael Dubuc scored for the Caps. Goaltender Braden Holtby yielded seven goals on 27 shots.

“They had a lot of 22-, 23-, 24-year-old guys, and we played all of our 18- and 19-year-old guys,” said Caps coach Bruce Boudreau, who watched from above the rink with a contingent of the organization’s personnel evaluators. “I thought our guys did a good job, considering.”

Defenseman John Carlson was consistently Washington’s top player. The 2008 first-round pick set up Dubuc’s goal with a no-look pass on a three-on-none break in the third period. He was confident with the puck, leading several offensive rushes and stickhandling out of danger.

Carlson, who nearly made the Caps’ roster out of training camp last year, will push for a spot when the team’s regular camp opens Sunday.

“He was very good - probably could have kept his shifts a little shorter, but it is good,” Hershey coach Mark French said. “He wanted to make an impression, and I certainly think he did tonight.”

Added Carlson, who played at this rink growing up in New Jersey: “I like to jump into the rush and do that kind of stuff. I saw a few opportunities and felt comfortable to go. I felt I made a few good plays.”

Just like a season ago, there was plenty of rough stuff. Undrafted camp invitee Ryan Jasinsky fought Matt Clackson in the first period, and then Clackson jumped him in the third despite the Richmond, Va., native telling the Flyers’ tough guy that he had stitches on his hand from the previous scrap.

Former first-round pick Joe Finley also got into a fight in his first game as a forward with the organization.

“The guys that needed to show some of that stuff probably did,” French said. “It is not encouraged from an organizational standpoint, but at the same time guys are fighting for spots and trying to make an impression.”

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