Flyers’ Cam York Returns Home for Season Debut

Prior to the Philadelphia Flyers‘ game Tuesday tonight against the Anaheim Ducks in Anaheim, California, the team added defenseman Ivan Provorov and forward Claude Giroux to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. Provorov and Giroux were joined defenseman Nick Seeler, forward Jackson Cates, and a staff member who were also placed on the league’s COVID-19 protocol list earlier this week. There were few options for filling the roster due to the team’s annual West Coast road trip.

Ryan Ellis was already absent for more than expected, so the Flyers were already short on back-end support. Fortunately, defenseman Cam York was added to the club’s taxi squad prior to the start of the four-game road trip in case something like this happened. York would be the perfect replacement for the injured player, especially considering the circumstances.

Cam York, Philadelphia FlyersAmy Irvin/ The Hockey Writers

York could not have picked a better timing as he was born in Anaheim Hills and Wednesday is his 21st birthday. Moments like these are rare, but York, a young defenseman, was able to make it a reality by playing in front his family in his hometown.

Hometown Kid Returned Home

York was raised in Anaheim Hills (California), where he played for the Jr. Ducks. He was a regular attendee of Ducks games with his family. This is where his love of hockey began. 

“I remember when I was a little kid and [the Flyers] would come out to Anaheim and play, I would always make sure I’d tell my parents, ‘We need to go to this game,’” York said after being draftedBy the Flyers in 2019. “It’s just one of those organizations where they have a rich history and just always a successful team. I’m really looking forward to being a part of it.”

He would be making his second season debut before the same crowd as he was in his first season. This was something he could only imagine. He knew his parents were going to be in attendance of the game no matter what happened as this was an opportunity they could not miss (from ‘Flyers’ Claude Giroux and Ivan Provorov placed in COVID-19 protocols; Cam York elevated from taxi squad,’ Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/4/2022).

“I want to inspire the next generation of hockey players out here,” York said prior to the start of the game. “Anything I can do to do that, I’m going to do. It’s a great feeling to be at this stage in my career. I know there’s going to be a lot of family and friends in the building tonight.”

York played 20 minutes of the game, in a 4-1 loss against the Ducks. But the game was so much more for him. York played a solid back-end game and scored two goals. It doesn’t matter what the result of the game was, the fact that he had the chance to play in front family and friends will be a memory he will cherish forever.

Take full advantage of every opportunity

York will be kept in the Flyers’ lineup for as long as possible, given the absence of so many defensemen. York has earned the right not to leave the Flyers even though he only played in four games. This moment has been here for the past two years, so why not grab it now.

He is willing to work on his game and is a promising young defenseman. He can be a consummate professional, able to eat minutes in crucial moments while still providing offensive and defensive production.

Watch LIVE as defenseman Cam York meets with the media prior to tonight’s matchup with the Ducks. #PHIvsANA https://t.co/Ot5jSssKbZ

“I’ve just been trying to be consistent in my game,” York said. “Night in and night out. I feel like recently with the Phantoms, I’ve been consistent, and that’s helped me a lot, just in all areas. Not trying to overdo things, but at the same time, play my game and be offensive and be a 200-foot player.”

York and the Flyers will be looking to kick things off when they return to Philadelphia on Thursday night for a crucial matchup in the Metropolitan Division with the Pittsburg Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center. York will likely be there as Provorov, Seeler and other COVID-19 protocol players will be still in the lineup. Perhaps this will serve as a wakeup call to the struggling Keith Yandle.