The Reading Royals of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) have announced the signing of Middletown, NJ native Brendan van Riemsdyk.
van Riemsdyk, who played his youth hockey with the New Jersey Devils Youth AAA program and the New Jersey Hitmen, is the first rookie skater the Royals have landed for the upcoming campaign, the franchise’s 20th anniversary season and seventh as an affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers.
The addition of the 24-year old centerman provides the Royals a physical, toolsy forward with experience at the highest levels of NCAA Division I hockey.
“Brendan adds size and a power-forward presence that we hope he can translate into his first season. We’re excited he will begin his professional career with the Royals after a few strong years playing in (the Hockey East Conference),” Royals Head Coach Kirk MacDonald said in a media release.
van Riemsdyk spent his first three NCAA seasons with the University of New Hampshire, before transferring to Northeastern University where he helped the Huskies capture the coveted Bean Pot Championship. He delivered the game-winning goal in the Huskies semifinals victory over Harvard University.
van Riemsdyk Cut His Teeth in Hockey East
Over 144 games in the Hockey East Conference, van Riemsdyk registered 50 points on 22 goals and 28 assists.
As a senior with Northeastern University, van Riemsdyk was named a Hockey East Academic All-American.
Prior to reaching the NCAA ranks, van Riemsdyk played junior hockey in the USPHL with the Islanders Hockey Club, where in 2015-16 he registered 53 points (21g, 32a). The previous season he was named the USPHL Rookie of the Year.
From CBA to Professional Play
At the NJSIAA level, van Rimesdyk was a four-year letter winner with Christian Brothers Academy, where he appeared in two state finals games and helped the Colts capture a share of the 2014 Non-Public State Championship following a 4-4 tie with Morristown-Beard.
van Riemsdyk was named the 2013 Shore Conference Player of the Year, following a junior campaign in which he scored 21 goals to go with 31 assists.
Conference player of the year honors is one van Riemsdyk shares with his older brothers, James and Trevor, who are both CBA alums and NHL veterans with the Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes, respectively.
The East Coast Hockey League is one of two professional minor hockey associations recognized by the NHL. The other is the American Hockey League (AHL). The Reading Royals are one of 25 affiliated franchises in the ECHL. The Lehigh Valley Phantoms are the Flyers’ AHL affiliate.