It's Hockey Day in America on NBC and NBCSN.
For James van Riemsdyk, he's especially proud of his roots.
The 29-year-old forward grew up in Middletown, New Jersey, where he eventually turned into the No. 2 overall pick by the Flyers in the 2007 NHL draft. He's become a two-time 30-goal scorer, he's worn the U.S. sweater in the Olympics and now he's back in the Philadelphia area, rocking the orange and black again after signing with the club last summer.
His hockey background in New Jersey has had an impact on many people. Luke Rogers, a teenager battling cancer, is one of them. The Morganville, New Jersey, native met van Riemsdyk in November when he had a day with the Flyers (see story).
"Me and my friends, we've followed his whole family because they're from around where I live," Rogers said on Nov. 14. "So I've been following him for a long time, played with teams I've played for, organizations.
"My whole life I've wanted to meet him."
Being closer to home is one of the reasons why JVR wanted to come back to the Flyers. His team will take part in Hockey Day in America when the Flyers play the Red Wings in Detroit at 6 p.m. on NBCSN.
"My dad would always have hockey games on when we were growing up and we loved playing together, me and brothers," van Riemsdyk said Friday in an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia's Michael Barkann. "Started like that and next thing you know, years go by, we're in the basement, whacking each other with the sticks and playing against each other. It's been a fun ride and it's something I still love each and every day that I get to do it."
For more Hockey Day in America stories, see below:
THIS IS HOCKEY DAY IN AMERICA! pic.twitter.com/9sx9TV6UrI— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) February 17, 2019
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.