2018-19 Team: USNDT (#2)
Date of Birth: Jan 5, 2001
Place of Birth: Anaheim Hills, CA
Ht: 5 foot 11 Wt: 175 pounds.
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2019 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 12th (among North American Skaters)
- Future Considerations: 15th
- Hockeyprospect.com: 12th
- McKeen’s Hockey: 17th
- ISS Hockey: 11th
- Bob McKenzie: 15th
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.
Related: NHL Draft Guide | 2019 Edition
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.
While York brings all of this and more offensively to his teams blue-line, he still lacks defensively and that could limit where he ultimately ends up in the 2019 Draft Class.
While some have York going somewhere in the top-12 range, others have him falling all the way to the bottom half of the first round. It isn’t hard to understand why either when looking at some of the high-end forwards that fill this year’s draft class.
Teams looking to find a No. 1 defender will likely shy away from York. Teams looking to find a solid two-to-four, however, should look no further as York’s offensive potential is off the charts.
It may sound like a broken record at this point, but anybody who’s seen York play has come away knowing just how talented he is on the ice. Some seasoning defensively could help push him to the next level and there have been many offensive-minded defenders in the past who have picked up enough of a defensive prowess after being drafted who have become successful NHL defenders despite pre-draft analysis.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Cam York – NHL Draft Projection
If teams are able to look past York’s defensive deficiencies, he could be a top-10 pick. That said, it makes more sense for a team to draft him somewhere in the 12-15 range as he still projects to fit a top-four need given how elite he is offensively. Teams need that kind of production.
“A mobile and calm defender with tremendous skating ability. Effective on the power play and owns the mobility needed to clean up any mistakes he makes.” – Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects
“Puck moving defenceman who can get it done on the power play, his U18 numbers are amongst the best single tournament totals ever put up by a defenceman with 11 points in seven games.” – Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet
“York is a solid, complete two-way defender. His hockey sense is high end, lending itself to smart decision-making under pressure and excellent passing ability, though he could stand to get his own shot on net more consistently. ” – Hannah Stuart, The Scoret
- High Hockey IQ
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Defensive positioning
- Puck handling
- Size could be a concern for some teams
The best offensive defender in this entire class, York has top-four NHL potential. His defensive ability may hold him back from ever becoming a true No. 1 in the NHL but he certainly has the tools necessary to get there if he puts the work in.
Risk – 2/5 | Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 8.5/10 | Defense – 6/10
York would win a gold medal at the U17 WHC in 2017-18 with Team USA, he was named to the U18 WJC All-Star Team that same year and also won the U18 WJC Silver Medal. In 2018-19, he’d make the U18 WJC All-Star Team and win the bronze medal with Team USA.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.