Over the past few years, the Philadelphia Flyers are used to having a plethora of prospects at the World Junior Championships. This year, the number is a little less overwhelming; however, the quality of players that are attending is strong.
All four Flyers prospects, Cam York, Bobby Brink, Yegor Zamula, and Adam Ginning, should make their respective team’s final rosters. Additionally, they all will play key roles in the success of their country in the tournament.
Let’s take a look at some specific expectations for each player, as well as likely roles each will play.
Cam York – Defense – USA
Michigan freshman blueline, Cam York, is a lock to make Team USA. In his first 14 games, the 18-year-old is one of the top point-getters for his team. York possesses a great mix of skill and hockey sense that makes him an asset every time he touches the ice.
York’s skillset makes him a candidate to absorb a lot of playing time in a variety of situations for Team USA. His ability to generate offense should put him on a power-play unit, possibly as the quarterback. There’s a good chance he won’t be a regular on the penalty-kill, as the team might look to save him for other situations. In Team USA’s scrimmage on Tuesday, York was paired with Northeastern’s Jordan Harris. If the two defensemen appear to be clicking together, there’s a good chance they will remain a tandem to start the tournament.
York is the kind of defenseman that can really impact a game with his offense. Expect him to bring those characteristics to the WJC and play a key role in his team’s success.
Bobby Brink – Forward – USA
Bobby Brink might be the Flyers prospect least likely to make his World Junior Team. However, he is still expected to make the final roster. The former second-round pick has had a streaky start to his freshman season. There have been occasions where Brink was forced to alter his role, leading to adjustment periods. Still, once the young winger gets into a groove, he’s an offensive dynamo.
Brink is best suited on a scoring line, with players that complement his skill set. With a stacked group of forwards, that now includes Oliver Wahlstrom, this might not be the case for Brink. He may be forced to assume a third or fourth-line role, which will be another adjustment for him. Still, there’s a chance Brink receives a promotion as the tournament progresses depending on his level of play. If the top-six don’t seem to be gelling, expect Brink to be one of the first players given the opportunity to help light a spark.
Yegor Zamula – Defense – Russia
Yegor Zamula is the most offensively gifted defenseman on Team Russia. In 28 games with the Calgary Hitmen, Zamula has posted an impressive seven goals and 21 assists. For those mathematicians at home, that averages out to a point per game. Of course, that’s impressive for any blueliner. Among all of the players on the roster, including forwards, Zamula is third in points.
As is the case with Cam York, Zamula is a complete lock to make the Russian final roster for the World Juniors. He’s a physical presence that can hold his own defensively while making a real impact offensively. He will be able to contribute both five-on-five and on the powerplay and should be relied upon quite heavily. Expect Zamula to be a true point driver from the blueline and a member of Russia’s core as they strive for a medal.
Adam Ginning – Defense – Sweden
Adam Ginning will be entering his second World Junior Championship. Although he is far from an offensive juggernaut, Ginning will be relied upon for another key attribute. The 19-year-old’s leadership will be the glue that holds Sweden together and helps them contend for a medal. The team’s leadership group has yet to be determined. However, it will not come as a surprise if Ginning is named the captain.
Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports