The highest level of hockey is well aware of what’s going on with the Anaheim Jr. Ducks.
Less than four months after a former Jr. Ducks player was selected in the NHL Entry Draft, the program has two more strong candidates for the same honor in 2019, according NHL Central Scouting’s recently released players to watch list.
Former Jr. Ducks defensemen Cam York and Ryan Johnson appeared on the watch list. York received an A rating, meaning he is a candidate to be selected in the first round, while Johnson garnered a B rating, indicating he is a candidate to be picked in the second or third round.
Slava Demin, a freshman defenseman at the University of Denver, in June became the club’s first NHL pick since it started its Tier 1 program when he went in the fourth round (99th overall) to the Vegas Golden Knights.
York, who played eight seasons with the Jr. Ducks, is a 5-foot-11, 171-pound defenseman who is in his second season at the U.S. National Team Development Program. He was one of 30 players to get an A rating.
The 2001 birth year had 52 points in a combined 92 games for the USNTDP’s U17 and U18 teams this past season. York also has represented Team USA on the international stage, helping the Red, White and Blue win a silver medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation U18 World Championship in Russia in April. He had six assists in seven games there.
York also was one of 42 draft-eligible prospects to participate in the 2018 All-American Prospects Game in Saint Paul, Minn., in mid-September.
Johnson, another 2001 who is in his first season playing for Sioux Falls of the United States Hockey League, helped the Jr. Ducks’ 16U AAA team win bronze at April’s USA Hockey Youth Nationals. He was the highest ever Californian chosen in the USHL’s Futures Draft, when the Stampede took him third overall in 2016.
Johnson had 45 points in 35 Tier 1 Elite Hockey League games and another 15 in 10 CAHA games this past season.
The University of Minnesota commit won a gold medal with Midget 16U AAA teammate Josh Groll as part of Team USA’s U17 team at the Five Nations Cup in 2017, the same year he attended the NTDP’s evaluation came with York and fellow 2001 defenseman Nicholas Kent.
They are part of a large contingent of Jr. Ducks players and alumni who have made Division I college commitments in the past five years – 17 in all.
York and Johnson are among eight 2001 birth years who have played for the club that have made D-I commitments. The list also includes Kent (Quinnipiac) and fellow defenseman Jarrett Overland (U.S. Air Force Academy) as well as forwards Groll (Michigan), Jonathan Panisa (UMass-Amherst), Dominique Petrie (Harvard) and Ethan Wolthers (UMass-Amherst). All but Groll, Overland and Wolthers played most of their hockey for coaches Craig Johnson and Scott Niedermayer.