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The Flyers Defenseman Development Cycle

Cam York is the future of the Flyers. He’s had a good year all-around, but he hasn’t had a chance to make his mark. If the Flyers want to keep him in Lehigh for the rest of the year, I can’t argue with that, but York played better than many of the defensemen they currently have in Nick Seeler, Kevin Connauton, and Keith Yandle.

Isaac Ratcliffe showed us all that players aren’t developing as well as they could be in Lehigh Valley. But that’s a story for another day. With that lens, York should be getting more NHL games and there’s a chain reaction to this equation. If York moves up, then Mason Millman, who is dominating in Reading, can go up to Lehigh and play top power play, big minutes, everything he is ready for now that he’s healthy.

York can at least learn from some of the vets while they are still with the Flyers including Justin Braun. If you wait for the inevitable trades to be made at the deadline and then bring up York. The team will be worse off on the blueline, and learning will be harder. There will be plenty of minutes available but much harder minutes. It’s not the ideal situation, but this is what I would do.

Millman is looking really good. He’s looked good defending. His skating is good, and his power-play skills are terrific. I get that York is the prized defenseman in the organization, but you have to allow Millman to spread his wings too. He’s had a rough couple of seasons and has still only played 25 games in Lehigh. He’s only 20, and there’s a lot of talent there.

Wyatt Wylie looks good for the last few weeks so hopefully, that continues. That gives the Flyers more options for the future.

Don’t forget about Adam Ginning. He’s big, mobile, blocks shots, and plays good physical defense. He could come over next year. Nobody seems to know if that will happen or not.

The rest of the year should be about development for the Flyers and where is the best spot for those players. I’ll get to Morgan Frost in another article, don’t worry. But as far as defenseman go, the plan for Yegor Zamula is working leaving him in Lehigh. Good. York is different, and he may need the challenge of the NHL for another stretch to see where he’s at. It won’t hurt his development, and it might help him. If he struggles, then send him down. Playing these vets as placeholders don’t really serve anybody except maybe Zamula, who they don’t feel is ready for the NHL, and I think they’re right about that.

Justin Braun photo by Katelynn Reiss.

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