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Flyers Trim 10 from Roster, Including a Big-Name Prospect

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Cam York, Philadelphia Flyers
Defenseman Cam York was among the 10 players the Flyers trimmed from their roster Wednesday, leaving 34 in camp. Photo: Zack Hill.

The Philadelphia Flyers reduced their roster by 10 players Wednesday, and they now have 34 in camp.

Among the cuts: defenseman Cam York, who entered camp favored to start the season on the third pairing. York, 21, a first-round selection in 2019, did not have a strong camp.

York is headed to the AHL’s Phantoms.

“Sometimes, when people are sent to the minor leagues,” it’s viewed that “you’re kind of throwing them away,” new coach John Tortorella said.

That, he said, is not the case.

“I think it’s a perfect situation for him to go down there and play,” he said. “It’s a great league to train in.  He’s still a young man, playing what I think is the toughest position. I think goaltending is the most important, and defense is the toughest to play.

“To me, with a new coaching staff coming in, it’s part of the process to get him to the end goal to be the player he can be in the National Hockey League.”

York played in 30 games with the Flyers last season.

“That’s the thing. York and I have discussed through camp that there’s so many God-given abilities he has that other players don’t,” Tortorella said. “I don’t think we’ve gotten to them. That’s part of my responsibility. I don’t think we got to the abilities where he could help us right now with our defensive core.”

Tortorella reiterated what he said earlier in the week.

“For me, with Yorky it’s not the physical skills, it’s the mental skills,” he said. “I think it’s him learning and, first of all, wanting to be a guy that’s going to make a difference. And (then) being a player to make a difference.”

Added Tortorella: “We feel he’s going to be a very important part of this team when we find our way. When (will) we find our way, I have no idea. But this is the right thing for Yorky.”

Roster Moves

The Flyers assigned the following players to the Phantoms:

Forwards: Tyson FoersterOlle Lycksell.
Defensemen: Adam Ginning, Adam Karashik, York.
Goaltender: Pat Nagle.
Forwards Adam Brooks and Max Willman, and defenseman Louie Belpedio were placed on waivers for the purpose of assigning them to Lehigh Valley.
Forward J.R. Avon, who was injured for most of camp, has been assigned to Peterborough of the Ontario Hockey League.

Teams can carry a maximum of 23 players; rosters must be submitted to the NHL office by Monday.

With York demoted, Nick Seeler is expected to be on the third pairing with Justin Braun.

Among players on the bubble, Ronnie Attard, Egor Zamula, Kevin Connauton, Jackson Cates, Hayden Hodgson, and Tanner Laczynski remain in camp. Rookie Wade Allison is still here, but he seems like a roster shoo-in. Goalies Sam Ersson, Felix Sandstrom, and Troy Grosenick also remain in camp.

Tortorella said Sandstrom, who has an unspecified injury, was feeling better, but the coach didn’t know yet who would be his No. 2 goalie behind Carter Hart.

Sandstrom, 25, and and the almost-23 Ersson have been outstanding in preseason games.

Attard and Zamula will probably go to the Phantoms. Tortorella said there was “no way” he was sending down Attard after he gallantly fought the Islanders 6-foot-5, 230-pound Ross Johnston on Tuesday. Tortorella said he wishes another Flyer had stepped in to fight Johnston.

Injuries Mount

The Flyers went 1-4-1 in the preseason, which ended with Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders.

Philly was plagued by numerous injuries in the preseason. Hart and Cam Atkinson weren’t able to play in any exhibition games. Ditto Ryan Ellis, who is expected to miss the season with a pelvic injury, Joel Farabee, and Sean Couturier. Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov only played in one exhibition game. Rasmus Ristolainen, also nursing an undisclosed injury, played in two.

Based on comments made by the players and/or Tortorella, Hart and Atkinson will play in the Oct. 13 season opener against visiting New Jersey.

Konecny, Provorov and Ristolainen are likely to play in that game. Ristolainen and Konecny skated with the injured players Wednesday in Voorhees. Provorov said he was feeling better Tuesday, and he figures to anchor the defense against the Devils.

Farabee’s return is unknown. He has been skating with the team, but not cleared for contact. The Flyers will be cautious with him, so he might miss a week or two when the season starts.

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