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June 21, 2019

Flyers take defenseman Cam York with 14th pick in the NHL Draft

With their first of eight selections in this weekend's 2019 NHL Draft, the Flyers added a ninth selection, trading No. 11 with Phoenix to acquire 14 and 45 overall.

Three picks later they pulled the trigger on Cam York, an offensive-minded defenseman from Anaheim, Ca. York is committed to the University of Michigan where he will play at least one season (but at 18 ands still a bit raw, likely more than one. More on that in a bit).

He was ranked No. 18 on NBC Sports' big board, but it was made very clear with this pick — as they bypassed several talented forwards — that the team is continuing its focus on defense, paired after a bevy of moves made prior to Friday's first round.

The Flyers had been busy leading up to Thursday night's selection, first trading defenseman Radko Gudas to the rival Capitals in exchange for Matt Niskanen, then waiving and buying out defenseman Andrew MacDonald, then trading a handful of draft picks (one of which they more or less recouped as they picked up a second rounder in their trade back with Arizona) for San Jose defenseman Justin Braun, and then inking forward Kevin Hayes to a monster $50 million contract.

York is 18 and has been a key power play blueliner on every team he's appeared on. The Flyers are comfortable with their forward pipeline, with Nolan Patrick still just 20-years-old and with Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee, two recent former first round picks, knocking on the door of the NHL level.

"They have a rich history of success and they're going to have a pretty good team here pretty soon," York said on NBC Sports after being drafted as the sixth overall American selected.

The experts at Broad Street Hockey had this to say about the bright spots from York:

Cam York is very good all over the ice, and he has exceptional hockey smarts. York lacks the elite speed you’d like to see in a smaller defenseman but he is still a great skater with good mobility and edge-work. He maintains good gap control and he has great balance which helps him to win puck battles and beating forwards on the blue line in the offensive zone. Something York does really well is that he never seems to be caught out of position, he knows when to pinch in the offensive zone and he knows when you should clear the puck or when you can break out of your own zone with a great outlet pass or even skate it out himself. He possesses a good shot and is a very good passer. All-in-all he plays a strong two-way game and in a few years he could be someone you play in all situations. [Broad Street Hockey]

Flyers fans will absolutely love what The Hockey Writers have to say about the team's newest prospect:

Cam York is so good offensively that it’s easy to forget sometimes that he’s actually a defender. 
One of the more electric players coming out of the 2019 NHL Draft Class, York is the best pure offensive defenseman available in the draft. Outside of being slightly undersized at only 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds, York has everything teams covet in offensive defenseman with quick and smooth skating, an elite shot and tremendous passes that almost always find their mark. 
Whether it’s his slap shot, wrist shot or a pass attempt, York is more than capable of moving the puck where he wants it to go with decisiveness and emphasis. That ability lends itself to York’s power play potential as he’s also primed to be the quarterback of an NHL squad’s power-play unit one day given his skillset. 
In 63 games last season, York scored 14 goals and 65 points while also adding a jaw-dropping 11 points (four goals) in just seven WJC games. [The Hockey Writers]

Here's a few highlights from the newest Flyer:

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