With the NHL’s January start date looking less likely with each passing day, the next thing Flyers fans should be looking forward to is this year’s World Junior Championships.
The annual tournament for the best hockey players aged 20 years old or younger is typically a showcase of the best players going into next season’s draft and the best players taken in recent drafts. The Flyers will likely have two suiting up for Team USA this time around.
Both Cam York (2019 1st round 14th overall) and Bobby Brink (2019 2nd round 34th overall) are in line to make their second appearance on the American U20 squad. York and Brink have been international teammates since the 2018-19 World Juniors U18 tournament and both figures to be team leaders as veterans of the tournament at both the U18 and U20 levels.
York is the only returning defenseman to the tournament and should feature in a prominent role at 5 on 5 play and the power play. A very good skater with excellent hockey sense and vision, he projects to factor into the Flyers defensive core soon rather than later. If York reaches his projected potential then he’ll make the Flyers’ top 4 formidable for years to come. He currently plays for the University of Michigan and has a goal and three assists for six points in his sophomore season.
Brink joins a roster of talented forwards and as a returner will likely have an expanded role amongst the top-six forwards. He’s a competitive player, with top-level playmaking abilities and a natural nose for the net. His skating has always been considered the weak portion of this game but has shown improvement as of late. This will be the next opportunity to showcase his improvement for Flyers fans. Brink posted 11 goals and 13 assists last season for 24 points in 28 games for the University of Denver.
Both players are projected to make the final roster when they cut from 29 players to 25 players. The coaching staff will be headed by Nate Leaman of Providence College, with the assistants being Ted Donato of Harvard University, Kris Mayotte of the University of Michigan, and Steve Miller of the Ohio State University. Theresa Feaster, Coordinator of Men’s Hockey for Providence College will be the video coach. The tournament opens for Team USA with a 9:30 pm Christmas Day game against defending silver medalist Russia and will be held in a bubble in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.