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Former Jr. Ducks star York staying put in Michigan for NCAA career

 

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The answer is, “the University of Michigan.”

The question is, “Where will one of the highest-ranked U.S. born players for the 2019 NHL Draft play next season?”

It turns out the choice was fairly easy for longtime Anaheim Jr. Ducks defenseman Cam York, who committed to the NCAA Division I Wolverines in late November and will play for the Big Ten school next fall after he concludes his two-year apprenticeship with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (NTDP).

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“After I decommitted (from Boston College), we (NTDP’s Under-18 Team) played a few weeks later at (Michigan’s) Yost Arena,” the 2001 birth year recalled. “It was a special place, a special arena. The way Michigan supports that team is pretty special.”

This season, the Anaheim Hills native, who is ranked 15th by International Scouting Services for June’s draft, has continued to do what he’s always done – produce. That trend started in Anaheim, continued for two seasons at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Minnesota and now is blossoming at the Plymouth, Mich.-based NTDP.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound York amassed 38 points in 59 games last season and added 11 more points in 13 games in two international competitions. This season, he had 16 points in 21 games.

That’s only intensified the attention he’s received.

“I don’t pay attention to any of it – all it does is distract you and gets you off your game a bit,” he said. “I want to focus on every game that night, not on who’s watching or rankings or whatever.”

One appeal about Michigan was its style of play, something York said fits well with his game as a puck-moving defenseman.

“Their coaching staff understands my game,” he said. “Within their system, I can be who I am on the ice.”

York is the seventh 2001 with ties the Jr. Ducks who has made a college commitment, and the second one headed to Michigan, joining Josh Groll. The others include longtime teammates Ryan Johnson (Minnesota), Nicholas Kent (Quinnipiac) and Jonathan Panisa (UMass), as well as Jarrett Overland (Air Force) and Ethan Wolthers (UMass).

“We’re proud of each other,” York said. “That was a special group.”

Photo/Rena Laverty/USA Hockey

— Chris Bayee

(Jan. 3, 2019)