Flyers Trade Down, Select Defenseman Cam York at #14
It has been a busy offseason already for the Flyers. And day one of the 2019 NHL Draft was no exception.
First off, with the Flyers set to make the eleventh pick, Chuck Fletcher elected to make a move. He traded the selection to the Arizona Coyotes for picks 14 and 45, essentially recouping the pick lost in the Justin Braun trade. Arizona selected Swedish defenseman Victor Soderstrom with the Flyers previous selection.
Now armed with the fourteenth pick, Fletcher elected to stay put this time. Despite several skilled forwards like Cole Caufield (my preferred pick), Peyton Krebs, and Alex Newhook still on the board, the Flyers elected to fill a need. The Flyers took defenseman Cam York from the US Development Program.
Before we talk about York, a message to Flyers fans. I know you're upset right now. Most of you wanted Caufield, who most scouts say is the best goalscorer in the draft, a carbon-copy of Alex DeBrincat. Krebs and Newhook also ooze skill. It is ok to be upset the Flyers did not take one of these players.
However, Cam York is a good player. He wouldn't have been a first round pick if he wasn't. The NHL Central Scouting Department ranked him as the 12th best North American skater. Plenty of can't miss prospects have busted before. Let's give the kid a shot before we crucify Chuck Fletcher and company for the selection, ok?
Ok. Now, onto the newest member of the Flyers organizaton.
Cam York - Selected #14 in the 2019 NHL Draft
Team: US Development Program (Committed to Univ. of Michigan)
Stats: 63 GP - 14 G, 51 A, 65 PTS
York is regarded as an offensive defenseman, which is the type of blueliner that is becoming preferrable for today's NHL. He was a part of the very successful, close-knit, US Development Program that produced several first round picks, including #1 selection Jack Hughes.
Cam is known best for his strong puck-moving and skating. He was the quaterback of the US NTDP's power play. There may not be a more skilled defender (other than Bowen Byram) than York in the draft. Perhaps most importantly for a defenseman, he also possesses a good hockey IQ and makes smart plays with the puck. That also makes him a plus defender.
Like any mid-first round pick, or any draft pick for that matter, there are a few concerns. Being only 5'11'', 172 lbs, there are concerns as to how York will fair as his competition becomes older and more mature.
However, it will be two years (2021 is the very earliest he could play in the NHL, and that's a bit of a stretch) before he is ready to wear the Orange and Black. York may not have been the player you wanted, but he's the player we got. And he's a pretty darn good one. Let's see what he's got.
Oh, and make sure to stick around tomorrow for coverage of Rounds 2-7. The Flyers remaining picks are: