Oct 11, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (57) during the red carpet event prior to a game against the Buffalo Sabres outside the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
After two games into the season we have already gotten a brief look at the Chicago Blackhawks depth of players. After losing Kris Versteeg and Michal Rozival to injury, the Blackhawks decided to promote Ben Smith to the third line and give Trevor van Riemsdyk a little more time on the ice. When Quenneville started van Riemsdyk vs. Dallas he started him off with about 11:43 of total ice time. In his second game vs. the Buffalo Sabres Quenneville decided to give him a little more time and it was bumped up to 14:01. Now after the post-game interview it sounds like Quenneville will continue to give van Riemsdyk the opportunity to earn more ice time and a solidified spot on the roster.
When Coach Quenneville was interviewed after the Buffalo game a reporter mentioned that Trevor van Riemsdyk had a couple of nice reads, jumps up into the zone, and he’s got awareness to him. In response Quenneville stated, “Yeah I liked his game, he’s really impressed us from the outside here at camp. A great surprise but in two games continues to play with the same type of poise and it’s impressive.” Not very often does a player get that kind of support from Coach Q. He usually has something to say about them being better on both ends of the ice or needing to improve on a certain area of their game. For now though it sounds like Trevor van Riemsdyk just needs to keep doing what he has been doing by keeping it simple and consistent out on the ice.
When asked about what he has been doing to catch the attention of Joel Quenneville he stated, “Part of my game is just knowing when to keep it simple and when to kind of try to do a little more,” van Riemsdyk said. “Up at this level the guys are so good, so skilled, and so strong that there are not as many opportunities to do something maybe a little fancier. Normally, the simple play is probably going to be the right one. That’s kind of been my goal — just to keep it simple, limit the turnovers and try to just be in the right spots and be a good teammate and be there for my partner when he needs me.” (Quote courtesy of Chris Kuc with chicagotribune.com)
With that approach I think this youngster can meet or exceed the play of Nick Leddy in a shorter amount of time that it took Leddy to get where he was before being traded. If you all don’t remember back at the beginning, trust was not always there from Quenneville for Leddy because of the turnovers and knucklehead play at times. It took him some time to develop that trust over the years but it seems as van Riemsdyk has something special going for him.
Michal Roszival was back at practice Monday and said that he feels great so there is a possibility he is inserted back into the lineup on Wednesday night. I am curious to see if Quenneville decides to keep Trevor van Riemsdyk out there and maybe rotate some of the other players to let Trevor continue to develop his game before we get deep into the season and the mistakes can cost a lot more. It definitely is good to see these young guys come in here and meet expectations by taking it upon themselves to get better. We have not yet seen a goal or an assist from van Riemsdyk but it shouldn’t be long before we start to see that type of production from him. He is well known for being a great offensive defenseman so hopefully with more time and chemistry with his line mates the goals and assists will follow. Keep him on your radar as he develops in this league, if he continues to be consistent we will definitely see him more frequently as the season wears on.
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