VOORHEES, N.J. – Cam York didn’t need to welcome new defenseman Jamie Drysdale into the Flyers’ locker room.
The two players already have done some “hang out” time together.
Drysdale arrived at the Flyers Training Center on Tuesday, one day after a trade which sent forward Cutter Gauthier to the Anaheim Ducks. The Flyers also picked up a second-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft.
York and Drysdale were all smiles as they greeted each other.
Later, York talked about renewing the friendship now on a more consistent in-person basis.
“I’m sure his head is spinning right now,” York said after practice. “Just happy to have him here.”
“We know each other from Canada a little bit. (Anaheim’s) Trevor Zegras lived in my house in Anaheim for a year and those two are best buddies out there. Jamie was always over at my house. That’s kind of how I got to know him a little bit. This past summer we hung out a bit so, like I said, just a great guy. We got a really good player.”
Naturally, some of York’s teammates approached him and wanted to know what the new guy was like.
“The guys obviously asked me about him,” York confirmed. “He’s kind of a quiet guy, a mellow type of personality. He’s got great character and I know a lot of guys in here are going to love him.”
How about a scouting report?
“The guy can fly like the wind,” York said. “He’s such a smooth skater. He has a real high hockey IQ. He’s a tough guy to play against just because he looks like he’s all over the place. Such a good skater, he can cover a lot of ground. I think he’s going to make our team a lot better. I’m excited to see what he can do.”
To fit Drysdale into the lineup, coach John Tortorella broke up his top pair, shifting Travis Sanheim from the right side to the left, putting Drysdale on the right and moving York to a pairing with Nick Seeler.
Sanheim, a lefty shooter, doesn’t mind moving back to his natural side.
He’s just happy the Flyers are adding a high character player into the lineup.
“Yeah, I think when those guys were doing background checks, that (character) is first and foremost – what they’re looking for is good guys,” Sanheim said. “I’ve heard nothing but good things for him. We’re excited to have him and looking forward to getting him in our lineup.
Sanheim did as much as he could to get Drysdale acclimated.
“Obviously a short time with him today,” Sanheim said. “Did a lot of chatting, trying to help him out with drills. Little defensive situations that I can help him out within our structure. As for the left side, I’m pretty comfortable playing on either side. Nothing new for me. Look forward to getting to play with him.”
Much has been made of the differences between the defensive coverage of the Flyers and Ducks. The Flyers tend to play more zone; the Ducks more one-on-one.
“Whatever system we’re running, we can get used to that,” Sanheim said.
No doubt once Drysdale gets a few practices under his belt, the Flyers’ system will be one which Drysdale can fully embrace.