Flyers young stud, Cam York, should never see another AHL game again.
Covid absences, long-term injuries to key players, and other players bouncing in and out of the lineup, you name it, the Flyers have dealt with it this year. It hasn’t been a very fun season to sit down and “enjoy”, but there has been a couple of bright spots here and there, and 21-year-old Cam York is #1 on that list.
York was drafted 14th overall in the 2019 draft by GM Chuck Fletcher. The initial reaction within 97% of the fanbase was pure anger. Chuck decided to go with the smooth-skating defenseman from Anaheim, California, instead of taking the pure sniper in Cole Caufield. Of course, because they’re the Canadiens, Caufield landed right in Montreal’s lap and they didn’t hesitate to take the sniper from Mosinee, Wisconsin.
Since then, I’ve had to hear about how bad of a move that was on Chuck Fletcher and the scouting department’s part because Montreal made a Cinderella run last year to get to the playoffs and Caufield put up 4G-8A-12P in 20 playoff games.
I’m not saying that Caufield is a bad player, he’s an extremely talented kid that has a lightning-quick release that the Flyers could’ve definitely used. I’m just so tired of listening to people complain about the Flyers not getting him as if Chuck Fletcher just drafted Luca Sbisa 2.0.
I made a video last summer right before the SCF telling people to calm down and stop panicking, and everything I say in it still holds true today. Caufield started his career well with 4G-1A-5P in 10 games and was an extremely fun player to watch on that overachieving Canadiens team.
Fast forward to this year and Montreal is an even bigger train-wreck than the Flyers and I didn’t even think that was possible. Caufield currently has 1G-7A-8P in 28 games. Am I saying Cole is a bad player, nope. It was just ridiculous how people decided to close the book on the 2019 draft because this kid put up some points early on.
In a perfect world, York wouldn’t be on the Flyers at this time, but we don’t live in a perfect world, unfortunately. Injuries and COVID absences forced him up to the Flyers and he has shown he’s the real deal.
The calmness and quick stick are some of my favorite things to watch about this kid. In his first game as a Flyer this season, York made a slick play in his own zone as Anaheim Ducks winger, Max Comtois, rushed in on the forecheck. York skated to grab the puck and gave Max a little “Shimmy, Shimmy” move that showcased that kid’s calm demeanor while under pressure.
In his first three games back up in the NHL, York averaged 22:13 of total ice time and recorded his first NHL point quarterbacking the power play against the Sharks last Saturday. Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim were both out of the lineup due to COVID protocols, so York was quite literally the only option to jump up on the 1st pair and play big minutes.
The only other option was throwing Keith Yandle up there and I genuinely think I would’ve had a heart attack if that happened.
The kid was rushed up to the NHL due to unfortunate circumstances and hasn’t batted an eye. Mike Yeo has even praised the 21-year old after almost every game and has given us the “Yeah we lost, but at least York looked good” line over and over.
I have my gripes with Yeo thinking he’s Mike Babcock with his questionable lineup decisions, but at least we know the guy isn’t completely blind.
Last night against the Boston Bruins, York was still in the Top 4 with Rasmus Ristolainen currently on the COVID protocol list. York played 19:35 and honestly made the power play look as good as it has in a while. The Flyers didn’t score when York’s unit was out there, but the way he sees the ice and can distribute the puck to his teammates from the point is the best on the team (and organization), and it’s not even close.
It felt like the Flyers had more shots on goal during the first power-play last night after York fed Giroux and then Farabee for one-timers than I’ve ever seen from that top unit at any point this year.
Look at this play from York. Game is completely over and he’s still hustling down the ice, sacrificing his body to save the goal. That’s what I want to see.
We aren’t making the playoffs, I think that’s pretty safe to assume. They’re currently 11 points behind Boston for the last wildcard spot and Boston has two less games played.
Cam York, Morgan Frost, Joel Farabee, and Egor Zamula should all receive bigger roles for the rest of the season so we can get these kids important NHL minutes under their belts. I don’t want to see York touch AHL ice again. He has shown he’s more than capable of handling NHL minutes and getting those big minutes under his belt will only help him in the long run.
Mandatory Credit: (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)