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Flyers’ Cam York May be Team’s Best Defenseman This Month

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Cam York is coming of age.

Playing alongside Ivan Provorov on the top Philadelphia Flyers’ defensive pairing, York reminds coach John Tortorella of a young Dan Boyle.

That’s a huge compliment when you realize Boyle played parts of 17 solid NHL seasons, was a two-time All-Star, and won a Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004.

York has 10 points (1-9) in 23 games this season, and he leads Flyers’ defensemen — and is second on the team — with a plus-9 rating.

He’s been very steady with Provorov, as the Flyers have mostly kept the same lines and pairs for more than a month.

It’s easy to love York’s smooth skating. He’s able to dance like a ballerina at the blue line with his spin-o-rama, which has worked on a number of occasions. The Southern California native has been able to move up ice quickly in transition.

In Sunday’s 5-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, York was fantastic. He was up in the play and made things happen. He’s had his looks offensively, but sometimes has a little too much of a pass-first mentality, so it would be nice to see him shoot a tad more.

But he is getting mostly good results. He finished the Winnipeg game with an assist in 19:33, and had two shots on net in 26 shifts.

York, a first-round draft pick (14th overall) in 2019, has made a lot of good plays behind the net and in the corners. He’s been able to help Provorov when he’s been in trouble behind the net. One of the main features of his game is skating, which he uses to escape difficult situations.

If you’re looking at the underlying numbers for York, he’s been better than last year in high-danger chances when he’s on the ice. Let’s take a look at the numbers:

HDGF and HDGA (High Danger Chances For/Against) is a key area when skimming players’ underlying numbers. As you can see, York has drawn double the penalties (in seven fewer games) and has had 12 fewer high-quality chances against. York and Provorov have done a good job in that area.

York, who was recalled from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Dec. 9, is also on pace to have a higher goals-for percentage while on ice, which means he’s helping create more offense and has been steady on the back end for the Philadelphia Flyers.

This shows a lot of promise for the young defenseman. He’s been creating plays and helping the Flyers defensively. The eye-popper of those stats is the 16/5 ratio of HDGA. That’s a pretty good number to have for a 22-year old. He’s still growing and learning, but there’s no doubt York has shown a lot of progress so far in 2022-23.

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