As Big Shooter reports below, a rumor has arisen in which our Thrashers are speaking with the Flyers about swapping Kari for prospect James van Riemsdyk.
I ruined three keyboards by drooling on them while trying to type that last sentence.
JVR, as he is abbreviated, is second in all time Team USA Juniors scoring only to that other JR. Not only that, but his coaches make him out to be the perfect team player. He's a big kid, at 6'3" 211 lbs and is already proving to be a major contributor to UVH halfway through his sophomore season. He'll probably be ready for the NHL next season or the one following.
Coach Rolston of the national junior team says that JVR's production this year in the tournament is especially impressive due to the fact that teams were all gunning to shut him down. You can bet the same goes for every game he plays for UVH. Hockey East is the toughest division in NCAA hockey, and to excel there you have to be a special player. (See Drury, Chris; Gionta, Brian; McTavish, Craig; Amonte, Tony; Guerin, Bill; Grier, Mike; Kariya, Paul; etc...)
Add to this the fact that JVR's linemate in the junior tournament was Jordan Schroeder, who will be an attractive option for DW in the draft. He's in his freshman year at Minnesota and is tied for the team lead in points.
The prospect of more American powerhouses on the Atlanta bench is almost too much to think about.
As has been pointed out on some message boards, it's hard to imagine Philly giving up a prospect like JVR for a goalie they've treated like a 2x4 on a pond for the past four years, but if it can be done without giving up an early draft pick, I think DW needs to pull the trigger before they change their minds.