ROCKET SPORTS MEDIA – We will continue our look at prospective draft picks for the Montreal Canadiens at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft with Cam York of U.S. National U18 Team (USDP).
Cam York, Defence, U.S. National U18 Team (USDP)
January 05, 2001 | Anaheim Hills, California, USA
5-11, 176 lbs. | Shoots Left |
2018-’19: 29 GP, 14 G, 51 A, 65 PTS
CSB: No. 12 (NA Skaters) | ISS: No. 12 | THN: No. 16 | HP: No. 12 | FC: No. 15
The Montreal Canadiens have made enormous strides recently to restock their prospect pool, which is currently ranked 10th overall by The Hockey News. Last summer in Dallas with 11 draft picks at their disposal, the Habs used seven picks on centres, filling an organizational need, most notably, selecting Jesperi Kotkaniemi third overall.
Will we see the same tactics used to fill needs within the organization (mainly left-handed shooting defenders), or will the Canadiens simply select the best players available, regardless of position?
If you weren’t aware of Cam York prior to the World U18 Championship, his performance throughout the tournament should have changed that. York finished as the tournament’s top scorer among defensemen with 11 points, and led the tournament with a plus-13, as Team USA would take home a bronze medal, defeating Team Canada.
A left-handed shooting offensive defenseman, York was named to the U18 tournament All-Star Team for a second straight year, and is now the highest scoring defenseman in tournament history with four goals and 17 points in 14 games. His plus-minus differential is also the 2nd highest in tournament history at plus-19, behind only Alexander Ovechkin (plus-27 in 14 games.)
This season, York set an NTDP record for points in a game by a defenceman with seven (3 goals, 4 assists), in a 11-3 beatdown of the Youngstown Phantoms. York finished the season with 65 points (14 goals, 51 assists) in 63 games, outscoring the next highest defenceman by 23 points, and was 5th on his team in scoring, behind only Matthew Boldy, Trevor Zegras, Cole Caufield and Jack Hughes, who are all projected to be selected within the top 10-15 in Vancouver.
Cam York’s biggest strength is his offensive instincts, he’s able to make quick decisions to find an open teammate, keeping his feet moving to jump into an offensive opportunity off a rebound or a one-timer situation. His shot is accurate, and quick off his stick, these attributes allow him to quarterback a highly skilled U.S. NTDP power-play. He’s also a player that isn’t afraid to lead the rush, or make a risky play, as he’s skilled enough to get himself out of a bad situation.
Defensively, York uses an active stick and speed to break up plays and cause turnovers. He’s shown that he can play physical, but not on a consistent basis, something that can be said about many offensive defencemen. However, his positioning and ability to read the play is very strong, allowing him to anticipate the decisions of his opponents, minimizing their offensive opportunities. The physical aspect of his game will develop over time as he develops as a player, as he’ll need to gain strength to contain larger players as a professional.
York is committed to the University of Michigan Wolverines next season.
The decision now rests with Trevor Timmins and general manager Marc Bergevin. The 2019 NHL Draft is set for June 21st and 22nd in Vancouver; all we can do is hope that the Canadiens use their draft picks wisely and continue building an impressive group of young talent with their 10 picks this year.
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By Matt Smith, Staff Writer.
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