The Philadelphia Flyers will need a lot of players to step up, and more specifically the entire defense, in order to bring back their successful glory days. One guy they should have no worries about, though, is Cam York. York, 22, is looking to make the 2023-24 season his first as an NHL regular, and he will have no problems doing so.
The 14th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft was scrutinized early on in his career by Flyers fans, particularly because of who he was drafted over. Pint-sized Wisconsin sniper and current Montreal Canadiens star Cole Caufield was falling heavily in the draft, an it was expected that a potential 40 goal-scorer would fall right into the Flyers laps. Instead, they landed York – a smooth-skating defenseman from the University of Michigan who was coached by Scott Niedermayer in his youth.
So far, the points have not come in bunches for the young blueliner – he has a career-high of 20, set last season – but there is reason to believe he will be productive at both ends of the ice with an improved supporting cast.
Take Shea Theodore, for example. The Vegas Golden Knight and Stanley Cup champion was up and down between the minors and the NHL until he was 22, when he latched on with Vegas as a full-timer at the age of 22. Theodore had 29 points in his first full season, but has now scored 40 or more points in each of his last four seasons, all while being regarded as one of the best two-way defensemen in the National Hockey League.
York will look at Theodore as an example this season as he looks to finally establish himself as an NHL regular under John Tortorella. The Flyers will give him every opportunity to do that, although finding him an adequate partner for his defense pairing will remain a challenge.
With Ivan Provorov out of the picture and Travis Sanheim coming off of a down year, it is less likely York’s efforts will be cast before swine again. With more minutes, the results will come, and so will the wins for the Flyers.