Flyers prospects kick off their World Junior play
World Junior hockey finally came back on Christmas Day, let’s take a look at how Philadelphia prospects Cam York, Bobby Brink & Emil Andrae faired.
York looked good in his first game of the tournament, he picked up a game tying goal with a point shot that had eyes.
The goal was originally credited to York then changed to Matthew Boldy’s goal. In-between periods, the goal was eventually changed back to York. A pretty simple play here, York picks the puck up at the point, finds a lane and gets a puck on net. I mentioned on the Liberty Yell twitter account how Yorks shot always seems to find the net and this play backs me up. He doesn’t have the hardest shot but it’s wired enough to where it’s either going in or creating a generous rebound for his teammates.
This angle shows it a little better, just a quick flick of the wrist and get it on net.
York didn’t have a perfect game. He got caught flat footed on a Russian break-away goal after puck watching near his own blue line. One thing that York is usually praised for that hurt him a little vs Russia was his “calm” play that he’s so known for. York needs to be more on-top of the defender.
He also gets beat to a puck at the end of the game to seal the game for the Russians.
Aside from those two plays mentioned I thought York looked like the best defenseman on Team USA. He was noticeable in the defensive zone with his quick decision making and calming presence. He was jumping up on the play creating offense all game. He had a better all-around game (as did entire USA team) vs Austria on Saturday.
Down 4-2 late in the third period with about 2 minutes left, York on the power-play gets the primary assists on an absolute laser shot from Trevor Zegras (ANA). York finished the night with 1G-1A-2P in his first game as captain.
As I mentioned, Yorks second game of the tourtament was by far his best. The entire USA team dominated Austria and won by a total of 11-0. It’s hard to judge prospects in games like this where it’s so lopsided, you try not to get too excited. Still, it’s nice to see York dominate.
Here he’s able to sneak back door and makes himself available to receive a beautiful pass. Unfortunately, he hits the post. But again, another example of Yorks elite ability to read the play at a high level and jump up in the play.
York picked up his third point in two games on a secondary assist on a goal scored off a juicy rebound by Matthew Boldy (MIN). Another power-play point from York who has been the QB of the power-play so far in this tournament. A solid start to the tournament for Cam York.
Brink hasn’t put up the same numbers as York, having 1 point through the first two games. But it doesn’t mean the 34th overall pick in the 2019 draft hasn’t been getting his chances. Brink had a gift of a chance in his first game against Russia, just completely missing the net. He’s been generating chances similar to this all tournament, just hasn’t been able to finish.
On-top of being frustrated with not finishing chances, Brink took a stick up high to draw a call. If you’re not scoring, at least put your team on the power-play!
Brink finally broke through to find the stat sheet cutting the Russian lead to 4-2 with a beautiful play to generate a scoring play.
Brink receives the puck below the goal-line, keeps his head up and zips the puck to the wide open man on the point. The point shot results in a rebound chance finished by teammate John Farinacci (ARI).
One of Brinks knocks coming out of the draft was his skating ability, more about his straight-line speed. He’s worked on it at the University of Denver and has shown improvements. However, Brinks acceleration and quick bursts in close make up for what he might lack in foot speed. He’s able to grab the puck out of the defenseman’s skates, makes a defender miss, go backhand forehand only to be beat by a sliding pad. Get that puck up, Bobby!
Adding more on Brinks skating, Charlie O’Connor tweeted describing it perfectly. “Choppy” and “deceptive,” are two good words to use to describe his skating style. Brink may not blow by a guy as consistently as say a Cole Caufield would but his stick handling in close and constant use of the “mohawk move” works for him. Brink’s ability to generate speed with that move has worked so far, whether that will translate well to the NHL is a discussion for another day.
Here Brink enters the offensive zone and open his hips up to the defender giving the impression that he’s opening up for a pass. Brink quickly makes a move back to his left, walks around the defender and gets robbed on another sprawling pad. Get that puck up, Bobby!
Brink capped off his first two games with 0G-1A-1P. Surely if he keeps playing like this, the points will follow.
Andrae is currently being played as the #7 on Swedens defensive depth chart, barely playing any minutes in Swedens first game vs CZE. Andrae saw his play dip off after this goal was scored while on the PK.
You could argue that Bjornfot is tad bid too high and should step down lower and play #21 but Andrae’s over aggressiveness after deciding to try and breakup the play down low, leaves Mysak (MTL) wide open. Andrae made an aggressive choice and it came back to bite him.
Sweden won 7-1 so Andrae and other players who weren’t seeing any time before got into the game for a little. Andrae had a play in the third period where he put a huge hit on New Jersey Devils prospect, Jaromir Pytlik. We’ll see if Andrae gets more playing time, I’d like to see him play ahead of where he is currently, being arguably the 5th best defenseman on the team. Maybe Andrae will have to suck it up, play behind older talent like Cam York did last World Juniors and come back next year and take that leap.
Mandatory Credit: Denver Pioneers Shannon Valerio