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By Chris Bayee, 08/30/16, 8:00AM PDT


Longtime Anaheim Jr. Ducks player Cam York committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at Boston College on Aug. 23 

York, who played for the Jr. Ducks from Mites through his first year of Bantam AAA, becomes the first member of the club’s 2001 birth year group to make a college commitment.

“It’s exciting for the program,” Jr. Ducks hockey director Craig Johnson said. “Cam is someone who started at the beginning and moved himself along through the program. It shows you can develop your game to high levels in California.”

York was one of seven Jr. Ducks 2001s who attended the USA Hockey Boys Select 15 camp in mid-July. All seven attended the Western Regional High Performance Camp in Colorado Springs in 2015.

York then played in the Chowder Cup in the Boston area and made a second visit to Boston College, his father Jeff said.

“He came home and said, ‘Mom, dad, I want to go to B.C.,” Jeff York said.

Cam played last season for Shattuck-St. Mary’s (Minn.) Bantam team, scoring 18 goals among his 69 points.

The Eagles, perennially an NCAA title contender, are getting a highly skilled player, said Johnson, who coached York for part of his Jr. Ducks career.

“He was a pleasure to coach and all of the kids on the team loved having him as a teammate,” Johnson said. “He’s one of the reasons our 2001s had the success we did. He could score, he could defend and he’s a phenomenal skater. He’s also an extremely smart hockey player.

“People always asked about him at tournaments.”

Cam is the youngest of three brothers, and older siblings Garrett and Cole played in the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League. Cole also played Midget AAA hockey. All three started in roller hockey and transitioned to the ice, Jeff said.

“Cam would always go to the rink with his brothers. He was a rink rat from the time he was 4,” his father said. “He has always had a love for the game.”

Cam’s time in the Jr. Ducks program was essential in his development process, Jeff added.

“He had some great coaches, starting with Rick Hutchinson as a Mite for two or three years, then Craig Johnson and Scott Niedermayer. Scott gave him a lot of direction.

“You could almost call it a perfect path.”

Cam put in plenty of sweat equity as well.

“He has always been a very diligent worker,” his father said. “He will always spend the extra time working on something that needs work. He was like that in whatever sport he played, and playing a lot of sports helped him build his all-around athletic skill.”

That combination opened the next step in Cam’s hockey process.

- Chris Bayee