Cam York ‘has another gear’ and this is how he’ll find it

Flyers Cam York
ANN ARBOR, MI – FEBRUARY 01: Michigan Wolverines defenseman Cam York (4) skates during a regular season Big 10 Conference hockey game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines on February 1, 2020 at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)

The Flyers are edging closer to the start of a new season. New hopes, new players, and a chance to rectify the wrongs of last season. Part of that process involves helping the next generation filter through the system and earn regular ice time. One of those leading candidates is Cam York.

York was red-hot at Lehigh Valley, last year scoring 5 points (2G 3A) through his opening six AHL appearances. That alone is quite impressive considering he made the jump after a pandemic plagued year at Michigan. He didn’t take long to settle at all after racking up 20 points (4G 16A) in 24 games for the Wolverines.

This led to his NHL debut against the Capitals and one he would make the most of. The former 14th-overall pick held his own with the help of Justin Braun and would notch a further two appearances as the season slipped away, shining in both and inspiring hope for the 2021 campaign.

The preparation for that season starts now. York played in yesterday’s rookie game against the New York Rangers and made the most of that opportunity too, scoring on the power-play to give the Flyers an early lead. After the game, Lehigh Valley Phantoms Head Coach Ian Lappiere was quick to hand out praise.

He was good. I feel like he’s got another gear. I’m sure he’ll tell you the same thing. First game in a long time and main camp is around the corner. I’ve been there before – sometimes you think about main camp before just a scrimmage like that. He did a lot of good things out there. I really do feel like he’s got another step that he can take, and he will.

York was a little more conservative in his presser, mentioning that it was his first game in a while and he was a little rusty as a result. However, when asked about what he needs to show the coaches during main camp, he gave a very interesting response.

It sounds weird but be dirty. Don’t let guys off the hook. Be as physical as I can. Stuff like that. Guys at the next level are really tough and hard to defend against. I think just being as gritty as I possibly can.

I like to throw the body around when I can. I’m not going to do it every shift and light guys up. You know when the time’s right, I’ll definitely be physical.

It’s likely that these two answers correlate. York’s extra gear may well come from expanding on his physicality. He’s an agile defenseman and an accomplished passer of the puck, but if he can really ramp up his aggression, especially now having dipped his toes into NHL waters, it’s only going to give him more leverage in the race for that spot as the team’s seventh defenseman.

Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire