STONE HARBOR, N.J. -- Cameron York and Bobby Brink are a big part of the future of the Philadelphia Flyers, but the next stop on their journey to the NHL is at the college level.
York, a defenseman chosen with the No. 14 pick of the 2019 NHL Draft, will play at the University of Michigan. Brink, a forward selected in the second round (No. 34), is headed for the University of Denver.
York, who had 65 points (14 goals, 51 assists), a single-season record for a defenseman with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program Under-18 team, wants to prove his defensive game is close to the equal of his offensive play. At 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, he'll need to add muscle, but do so in such a way that it doesn't affect his mobility and speed.
"Physically I'm not the biggest guy, but I want to get in the weight room as much as I can and gain as much weight as possible so I can be defensively even better," he said. "Try to bulk up as much as I can to play against the big, strong guys in the League. … In this day and age, size doesn't matter as much. But you need to be able to handle big, heavy guys. Hopefully I'm around 180 (pounds) by the end of the summer and we'll go from there."
Flyers development coach Nick Schultz said he didn't know much about York beyond the big numbers he had with the NTDP but was impressed by what he saw during development camp in June.
"He's pretty smooth," Schultz said. "He looks smooth, good player. He looks like a pretty special player. … He's pretty good defensively as well. He's got a great stick, good player. Just a matter of watching his game, picking up little things that can help him in any way you can."
Video: York describes emotions, reaction after Flyers pick
York said he liked a lot of the things he heard from working with Schultz and development coach Kjell Samuelsson, each a former NHL defenseman.
"Just trying to take everything in like a sponge, learn as much as I can," York said. "If I take away one or two things from here that's a positive. Just trying to take away as much as I can."
Brink (5-8, 159) has similar goals to York as far as adding size and strength during the offseason and into his first college season.
"Just keep working on putting on some weight, get stronger, keep working on getting faster," he said. "College does that, develops players like that really well."
Brink's size wasn't a factor last season with Sioux City of the United States Hockey League; he was second in the league with 35 goals, and his average of 1.58 points per game was best among USHL players who played more than 25 games.
"Our scouts certainly talked about his competitive nature," Flyers development coach John Riley said. "He can shoot a puck, he's very coachable, he's worked hard. … He's a competitive little guy, he skates hard, he can shoot a puck. His numbers are impressive."
Now it's up to York and Brink to continue to put impressive numbers on and off the ice.
"We talk with all these guys about their general growth as people and hockey players," Riley said. "Just try to help them get better in all areas of the game, help them become better 200-foot players."
Listen: New episode of NHL Draft Class presented by adidas