Florida Panthers Should Consider Drafting Cam York in the First Round

BUFFALO, NY - MAY 30: Cam York poses for a portrait at the 2019 NHL Scouting Combine on May 30, 2019 at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - MAY 30: Cam York poses for a portrait at the 2019 NHL Scouting Combine on May 30, 2019 at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images) /

With the NHL Draft only several weeks away, I will diagnose who the Florida Panthers should ultimately select with their 13th overall selection in the first round.

The Cats possess some deep forward options in Owen Tippett, Aleksi Heponiemi, Grigori Denisenko, and Serron Noel. Essentially, seeing Dale Tallon is holding onto the 13th pick, a defenseman should be selected by the Florida Panthers.

Quality D prospects such as Philip Broberg and Victor Soderstrom are logical options if available, but the ideal selection would evidently be Cam York from the U.S. National U18 Team.

In fact, the United States native has been ranked by numerous professional websites and scouts between the #10-20 range.

Since the 2019 NHL Entry Draft is widely viewed as a forward-heavy draft, a tremendous offensive defenseman like Cam York will likely be available for the Florida Panthers at pick #13. Aside from Max Gildon, the Cats severely lack depth in their system in terms of high-upside defensemen.

The University of Michigan commit would immediately bolster the farm system and would become their top-ranked D prospect. Furthermore, York is known as a premier offensive defenseman and a prototypical quarterback on the power-play unit.

The 2018-19 season was a memorable one for Cam York in the USHL and USDP. While participating in 28 USHL contests, York registered an impressive slash line of 7G, 26A, for 33 points, averaging well over a point per game before moving onto the United States Development Program.

Simply put, Cam York didn’t fail to impress in the USDP against the top competition in the country and future NHLers. In 63 games for the USDP, York recorded a solid line of 14G, 51A, for 65 points, establishing himself as one of the most polished offensive defensemen entering the 2019 NHL Draft.

Additionally, York dominated the international stage. While representing the United States at the World Junior Championships, Cam produced a remarkable tally of 4G, 7A, and 11 points. As well, York recorded the best plus/minus rating in the entire tournament (+13).

Cam York might need more improvement defensively, but he’s already proven himself as a lethal offensive defenseman and a power-play weapon.

The University of Michigan, the same program which developed US product Quinn Hughes, will undoubtedly help York develop into a potent two-way defenseman.

The 18-year-old York is likely several seasons away from cracking the NHL; However, this should not discourage the Panthers from selecting the skilled defenseman from the USDP.

In essence, Cam York is currently viewed leaguewide as a top 4 defenseman entering the draft, alongside the likes of Bowen Byram, Philip Broberg, and Victor Soderstrom.

Quite frankly, a modern day comparison for Cam York would be Keith Yandle. Both players are considered exceptional passers, power-play quarterbacks, proven offensive defensemen, and are both American born (for what it’s worth).

In the event that Cam York was to be selected by Tallon, Panthers fans alike should be incredibly excited and optimistic about the pick.

York possesses untapped potential and can easily develop into a top-four defenseman on the Panthers roster by the start of the 2021-22 NHL season.

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Therefore, do not be remotely shocked if defenseman Cam York is taken by the Florida Panthers with the 13th overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft.