Welcome to the NHL, Cam York. The Philadelphia Flyers’ 14th overall pick from the 2019 NHL Draft will make his NHL debut on Friday night against the Capitals.
The Flyers recalled York and Felix Sandstrom to the Taxi Squad on Thursday prior to practice. York practiced with the main group on the third pair in preparation for his NHL debut on Friday.
“He will be in the lineup. He’ll be playing with Sam on D,” Alain Vigneault said.
York is a left-handed defenseman but lined up on the right side in practice. However, York won’t strictly play on the right side in his debut.
“I’m not sure that he’s going to play on the right side. I think there’ll probably be a steady rotation there. We have not been consistent with our D pairings. It depends on the faceoff situation, etc,” Vigneault said of York. “So he’ll get a chance to probably play both sides, Sam is probably a little bit more comfortable on the left side.”
York is coming off a great season with the University of Michigan where he recorded 20 points (four goals, 16 assists) in 23 games. He had five points (two goals, three assists) in his first six AHL games. Two of those points came in Wednesday night’s win against the Hershey Bears.
York connected with fellow first-round pick Tyson Foerster on a pair of power-play goals. Foerster got a deflection goal on York’s point shot, then York and Foerster played give-and-go for a nice breakaway goal for the defenseman.
The talented blueliner will get a chance on the power play in his NHL debut as well.
“There’s no doubt. You want players to be put in situations where they can have success and he’s considered a very good power play quarterback on D,” Vigneault said. “He’s done it at the college level, he’s done it for a small sample size at the AHL level, and we’ll see what he can do at this level.”
Due to Shayne Gostisbehere’s two-game suspension, the Flyers technically called up York on an emergency basis. They still have two call-ups remaining this season, but time is running out with just three games left.
Gostisbehere is looking forward to York’s debut.
“I’m excited for him. He’s a playmaker, kind of plays the game similar to my style, and I like to see that, especially when it’s in your own organization,” Gostisbehere said. “I’m really excited for him to go out there, make some moves, and help our team win. It’s exciting times for him.”
It’s going to be exciting to see what York can do at the NHL level. He is expected to be a big part of the Flyers’ future and could make a significant impact as soon as next season.
Photo: Heather Barry Images