There’s no denying that the Philadelphia Flyers and General Manager, Chuck Fletcher, brought a fair share of drama to the first round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Originally, owners of the 11th-overall pick, the Flyers engaged in a trade with Arizona, sending that pick to the Coyotes for the 14th and 45th-overall pick. Initially, the Flyers faithful were up in arms. Popular draft choice, Cole Caufield, was still on the board and Philadelphia was now taking a risk. When it came time to use that 14th-overall pick, Caufield remained on the board. So what did the Flyers do? Draft American defenseman, Cam York.
Though it can be argued that better options were still available, York was the best defenseman still on the board. With Philadelphia’s best young blueliners in the NHL now, they needed to start restocking the position in the prospect pool.
Cam York is a native of Anaheim Hills, California and formerly played for the United States National Team Development Program. The left-handed shot will man the blueline for the University of Michigan next season.
York was the top defenseman for the USNTDP last season. He finished the year with 98 points in 91 games. Additionally, he racked up 11 points in seven games during the U18’s.
The 18-year-old defenseman is equipped with a plethora of valuable assets. He has great hockey sense and skating ability, and can anticipate play both with and without the puck. York has the ability to think ahead, making him a great player for pressure situations. He is an accurate and intelligent passer that rarely makes mistakes or careless plays. Additionally, his ability to push the puck helps him contribute offensively. York is already a creative hockey player offensively, which will most likely only get better as he develops.
Defensively, York is disciplined and rarely allows a play to get by him. He enjoys using his stick to break up plays and has great spatial awareness. In his young career, he’s not known for his physicality but will throw his body around if need be.
Friday night, the Flyers did not make the flash pick. However, they did not make a mistake taking Cam York. It will take him a few years to develop but the Flyers can afford to be patient. Philadelphia needed to address defense in this years draft. They decided to do so by taking a young player that can succeed in both ends of the ice, a must in today’s NHL.
Welcome to Philadelphia Cam York!
John Gove is a full-time elementary educator with a passion for sports media. He has covered various aspects of hockey and basketball for various outlets over the past five years. Currently, he serves as a contributor and editor for Philly Sports Network focussing on prospects within the Philadelphia Flyers farm system and Villanova Men’s Basketball. John also serves as a co-host of Pod Street Bullies, PSN’s flagship Flyers podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @PodStreetGove.