Cam York not “shying away” from bright lights of NHL

The Philadelphia Flyers haven’t been able to put their strongest defensive players on the ice this season through a mixture of injuries and positive COVID-19 cases, but it hasn’t hampered Cam York’s performances in the squad over the past week.

York has remained with Mike Yeo’s squad due to a rising number of absentees in the Flyers lineup, earning regular minutes into 2022 as he continues to work on his development as an NHL defenseman. The California native has registered over 20 minutes of ice time in all three of his regular season appearances this new year, with his playing time continuing to rise over the past two games overall.

A former first round draft pick by the Flyers in 2019, York has totaled six appearances with the Flyers over the past two seasons, making the most of his recent opportunities and forcing his way into the conversation for regular minutes during the second-half of the regular season. Although the Flyers record has continued to disappoint, York’s abilities have not, as he hasn’t backed down against some of the league’s top offensive weapons including Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

York’s long-term future with the team remains unknown once veteran defenseman Ryan Ellis returns to action from his lengthy injury absence, but he’s working towards a consistent stay with the Flyers this season and also has the backing of Yeo to continue playing for now.

“We got guys that eat between 22-26 minutes of ice time on the left side of the lineup right now,” Yeo said about York and the other young players. “Now that said, guy come in and he’s got to perform and he’s got to accept that opportunity and he’s done that.  He helped us score a big power play goal tonight but I think it’s a real hard league and the toughest thing for young players is just learning that consistency and being ready to compete and perform at a real high level every night.  But he doesn’t seem to be shying away from that at any level. He looks confident he’s defending aggressively, assertively and a big part of his strength is his ability to move the puck.”

“I mean I’m doing my best,” York said. “Obviously, it’s a challenge especially when you’re playing against other team’s top lines and you’re playing 20 plus minutes a night. It’s the best league in the world. You’re going up against the best players and it’s challenging every single night. Every team is an obstacle, but for me I’m trying to play simple and kind of let the game come to me.”

The Flyers are coming off of a 3-2 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night and will be back in action on Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center against the Carolina Hurricanes. York will have another opportunity to square off with some of this season’s top offensive weapons as Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, and Andrei Svechnikov come into Tuesday’s game with 37 combined goals between them this season.

You can follow Larry Henry on Twitter (@lhenry019) and e-mail him at [email protected].

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