The Philadelphia Flyers’ defensive unit has had a busy summer. Ivan Provorov is gone. Tony DeAngelo has been bought out. Travis Sanheim had been shopped around. Marc Staal and Sean Walker are the veteran newcomers. A host of younger players, including Emil Andrae, are waiting in the wings. In the middle of all of this stands Cam York.
Cam York had a fairly solid rookie season. He scored two goals with 18 assists in 54 games on a team that was floundering. York had an every changing pairing of partners as he played on all three different defensive lines. His abilities helped him land a solid two-year contract extension. It’s a promise from the Flyers that they believe in the promise that York has.
This is Cam York’s time to shine. The guys who were supposed to be counted on as the two top defenders – Provorov and DeAngelo – are gone. Sanheim, who is no longer on the trade block, is looking like he is the number one defender heading into 2023. He also pairs well with Rasmus Ristolainen.
After a year of NHL experience, Cam York is going to have to step his game up. He’s going to have come into training camp with the knowledge that there is an expectation that he is supposed to elevate his game and be the top defender in the organization. Maybe it is a lot for a 22 year old to take on. However, if he wasn’t ready to be a star in the NHL, the Flyers wouldn’t have drafted him 14th overall in 2019 and he wouldn’t have been rated as one of the top defensive prospects in that draft.
When Cam York was drafted, The Hockey Writers said of his game:
"One of the more electric players coming out of the 2019 NHL Draft Class, York is the best pure offensive defenseman available in the draft. Outside of being slightly undersized at only 5 foot 11 and 175 pounds, York has everything teams covet in offensive defenseman with quick and smooth skating, an elite shot and tremendous passes that almost always find their mark. Whether it’s his slap shot, wrist shot or a pass attempt, York is more than capable of moving the puck where he wants it to go with decisiveness and emphasis."
Cam York has the skills necessary to being a top player in the NHL. This is what he has been cultivated for. For the Flyers rebuild/retooling is to be successful, York is expected to be a major part of that. This means that York, right now, has a golden opportunity to step forward and become the player he has been projected to be. This is a great chance he has been given. Let’s hope he takes a hold of it. This is his time to shine. Don’t let that moment pass by.