There’s no denying that the Boston Bruins are not going to be the same team they were last season with the amount of departures the franchise faced in the offseason.

Gone are Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci to retirement. Gone are Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno to a trade. Gone are Tomas Nosek, Tyler Bertuzzi, Garnet Hathaway, Connor Clifton and Dmitry Orlov to free agency.

Those are a lot of skates to fill. While some, Bergeron and Krejci especially, are irreplaceable on and off the ice for Boston, other roles for the team will be filled by seasoned vets and hungry prospects. James van Riemsdyk is one of the veterans who will surely impact the team when they take the ice in October.

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The 34-year-old forward has spent his entire NHL career playing against the Boston Bruins for two of the club’s biggest rivals — the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Flyers.

Entering his 15th season, van Riemsdyk said he wants to bring his net-front presence to the Bruins by using his 6-foot-3 frame to screen opposing goaltenders while either looking for the tip-in or simply being a wall for his teammate’s shots to get through.

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During his press conference when he signed with the Bruins on July 1, van Riemsdyk said his game fits in well with what Boston is trying to build.

“I think just even watching from afar last year, just watching the style that they’d try to play, definitely seemed like one I thought I could fit in well,” he said. “Definitely relying on your hockey sense, relying on your skill to play the game the right way.”

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While the lines are not set in stone, it’s most likely van Riemsdyk will begin the season with David Pastrnak and Pavel Zacha. Skating with the duo should allow van Riemsdyk to either collect a lot of assists or pot some rebounds off Pastrnak’s shots that don’t make it past the opposing goalies.

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery will probably use van Riemsdyk in front of the net on one of the power play units to help cash in on the dirty goals the way Bertuzzi did before he vacated Boston in the offseason.

Because he has never been afraid to bare down in front of the net and battle for position van Riemsdyk has scored 87 power-play goals in his career along with 64 assists on the man advantage — something he should be able to replicate while in Boston.

Featured image via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images