Flyers hook van Riemsdyk with six-year contract extension

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The Philadelphia Flyers will retain young forward James van Riemsdyk after they agreed to a six-year contract extension, the team said on Tuesday.

Van Riemsdyk, who thrived in last season's NHL playoffs, was set to become a free agent after the coming season but the Flyers locked in the 22-year-old with a contract worth $25.5 million, according to local media.

Van Riemsdyk will now be the centerpiece of Philadelphia's re-shaped roster after the team parted with scorers Mike Richards and Jeff Carter in the off-season.

"We still have some great players and we also brought in some great players," Van Riemsdyk told "We have a good leadership core in the locker room but, saying that, there was a little bit of a turnover from last year's team to this year's."

Van Riemsdyk recorded 21 goals and 19 assists last year during his second season in the league, then caught fire in the post-season where he scored seven times in 11 games.

The Flyers are hoping his development can help the franchise end a Stanley Cup drought dating back to 1975.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Ian Ransom)