Randy Carlyle wants to see what James van Riemsdyk can do at centre.

The Maple Leafs coach said that, at this point, the plan is to give van Riemsdyk a long look at the position when training camp opens in September, provided there is no work stoppage.

"He's a big man and we're going to try him playing in the middle for us," Carlyle said on Thursday as he returned to his Manitoulin Island cottage following the Leafs' prospects camp at the MasterCard Centre.

"It's always nice to have a 6-foot-plus centre in your top six. We feel there is an opportunity to explore him at centre.

"I have talked to him and he has asked for some video work."

Drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2007, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound van Riemsdyk had experience playing centre before he got to the NHL, at the University of New Hampshire and with the U.S. under-18 program.

In three seasons with the Flyers, van Riemsdyk primarily patrolled the left wing. There's nothing that says van Riemsdyk will begin the 2012-13 regular season at centre, and general manager Brian Burke wants to upgrade at the position, reiterating this week that he is looking to make more changes via trade.