Meet Flyers First-round Pick Cam York, a Cali Kid With a Philly Mentality

There's a perceptible Southern California coolness to Cam York. He's a laid-back 18-year-old from beautiful Anaheim Hills with a smooth and fluid game on the ice.

On the inside, though, there's an East Coast mentality. He understands Philly.

In fact, he loves it.

"That's probably the first thing I learned about Philadelphia is that they have passionate fans and they want to win," York said Tuesday at Flyers development camp. "They really hold their players accountable and, as a player, that's what you want."

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When York heard his name called by the Flyers at No. 14 overall in last weekend's 2019 NHL draft, he already had a grasp of the organization, its values and the market in which it plays. Growing up, he appreciated the orange and black.

"I remember when I was a little kid and they 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. "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."

It doesn't take long to realize why the Flyers' entire scouting staff saw York 10 to 15 times during the season and came away sold on the point-producing machine from the blue line. He's an impressive skater with an even better offensive skill set. On the U.S. national U-18 team in 2018-19, York scored over a point per game with 65 points, a USNTDP single-season record for a defenseman.

"He's kind of a modern defenseman," Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said. "He's very mobile, very intelligent, very cerebral. Lots of poise, plays a real responsible two-way game - he's a very good defender for a 6-footer."

And that's what York wants to emphasize just as much as his dangerous offensive game. He wants everyone to know he can play some defense, too. York was a team-best plus-56 on a U.S. national U-18 team that saw eight players drafted in the first round.

"Offensively, I feel like I'm dynamic and can make plays happen," York said, "but defensively, I feel like I don't get enough credit for what I do. I led my team in plus-minus this year, so I take a lot of pride in it. 

"I want to be a guy that plays 30 minutes a night, not just 20 because he's just offensively good. I want to be really good on both sides of the ice."

Philly can get on board with that mindset. York, who is headed to Michigan in 2019-20, will bring on the big moments, big minutes and a big city.

Don't let that Cali coolness fool you.

(Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)

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