Allen York was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League and he played professional hockey for six years in the NHL, the American Hockey League and the East Coast Hockey League. He also played for Team Canada in the Spengler Cup. (Photo submitted)

Allen York was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League and he played professional hockey for six years in the NHL, the American Hockey League and the East Coast Hockey League. He also played for Team Canada in the Spengler Cup. (Photo submitted)

Wetaskiwin-born Allen York heading to Wetaskiwin County Sports Hall of Fame

York was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets and played professional hockey for 6 years

York was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League and he played professional hockey for six years in the NHL, the American Hockey League and the East Coast Hockey League. He also played for Team Canada in the Spengler Cup. During his hockey career, Allen won championships, played in National Championships, was awarded All-Star recognition and won Best Goalie Awards.

York is being inducted into the Wetaskiwin & County Sports Hall of Fame in the Athlete Category for his achievements as a hockey goalie.

York started skating when he was two years old and he began playing organized hockey in the Wetaskiwin Minor Hockey Program when he was six years old. At the Atom level the players each took their turn playing goalie and Allen found he liked the position. After his Atom team won the Atom A League Championship, Allen took up the goalie position and continued improving as he moved through the age groups. As a Bantam Allen’s team hosted the Bantam “AA” provincials. When he was 16 Allen’s hockey skills had improved so much that he was chosen to play goalie for the Midget AAA Leduc Oil Kings.

In 2006-2007 as a 17 year old, York tried out for the Camrose Kodiaks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League and made the team. He spent two years with the Kodiaks and both years his team won the Doyle Cup emblematic of the Alberta vs BC Junior Hockey Championship. Winning this title qualified the Kodiaks for the 2007 and 2008 RBC Canadian Junior A Championships. Although the Kodiaks didn’t win the Canadian Championship, Allen was named “Best Goaltender in the Tournament” both years.

In his rookie year Allen played 32 games for the Kodiaks with a 2.16 goals against average and a .906 save percentage and won the AJHL Top Team Goaltenders award. In 2007-2008 York had another very strong season and played 37 games with a 2.24 goals against average and a .910 save percentage. Allen rotated starts with Mathieu Larochelle and the pair combined to win the AJHL TopTeam Goaltenders Award. Allen did start the majority of the games in the playoffs and all the RBC Cup games. Allen became eligible for the NHL draft in 2007 and was acquired in the 6th round of the 2007 draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

After Junior Hockey, Allen attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York where he played three seasons (2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11) with the RPI Engineers men’s ice hockey team which competed in NCAA Division I in the Eastern College Athletic Conference. In his freshman season at RPI Allen appeared in 16 games. He finished his first season with a 5-10-0 record, 3.02 goals against average, and .901 save percentage. In 2009-10 as a sophomore, York took over starting duties for the RPI Engineers. In 33 games, he finished with a 14-13-4 record, 2.54 goals against average, and .910 save percentage and was named to the All-ECAC Second Team. In his final year Allen started 34 of 38 games for RPI. His team finished in a three-way tie for fourth in the ECAC Hockey League. He was 18-10-3 with 2 shutouts and had a 2.17 GAA and .924 save percentage and was named to the All-ECAC Third Team.

Allen played 11 games with the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets in 2011-12. He spent the rest of the season and the 2012-13 season playing for the AHL Springfield Falcons, the ECHL Evansville Icemen and the ECHL Chicago Express, all affiliates of the Blue Jackets. In 2013-14 Allen signed to play with the Evansville Icemen. After a single game stint with the AHL Charlotte Checkers he was loaned to the AHLTexas Stars. He returned to the Icemen and then had another one game stint with the AHL Rockford IceHogs. In the middle of the season Allen was traded to the ECHL South Carolina Stingrays. Allen continued his whirlwind year by later going to his fourth AHL club and sixth team in the season on loan to the AHL Syracuse Crunch before returning to the Stingrays.

York was rewarded from his earlier tenure with the Crunch by signing as a free agent on a one-year AHL contract with the club in 2014. After playing the first half of the 2014-15 season, with the ECHL affiliate of the Crunch, the Florida Everblades, York made his Crunch season debut on Feb 7, 2015. Allen’s contract with the Crunch continued into 2015-16. In the midst of the season, after playing with the ECHL Greenville Swamp Rabbits, he opted to end his professional career on March 4, 2016.

One of the highlights of Allen’s hockey career was playing for the 2013 Team Canada in the Spengler Cup, an annual tournament held in December in Davos, Switzerland. Allen played in three games and Team Canada lost in the semi-finals to Geneve-Servette HC, the eventual winners of the tournament.

In 2016-17 and 2017-18 after retiring from professional hockey, Allen played goalie with the Daysland Northstars of the North Central Hockey League. In the 2018-19 season he played with the Innisfail Eagles of the Allan Cup Hockey League, a Canadian Senior ice hockey league based in Alberta. Allen continues to play with the Eagles for the current 2019-20 season. The league is made up of two Senior AAA teams and the ACHW is one of the two Allan Cup-Eligible ice hockey leagues currently operating in Canada.

Because of his knowledge and experience York was hired to be the goalie coach of the Camrose Kodiaks ofthe AJHL for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. For the 2019-2020 season Allen has added more coaching jobs to his calendar. He is the goalie coach for the Northern Alberta Xtreme Hockey male and female teams that play in the Canadian Sports School Hockey League. He also is with Above the Crease – Alberta Hockey Goaltending, a year round goalie training company where he is coaching young aspiring goalies. Besides those three positions, Allen was the goalie coach for the 2019 Canada West team that competed in Dawson Creek in the World U-17 Junior A Challenge tournament between Canada West, Canada East and four international entries.

York has had an exceptional hockey career. He excelled at the Junior and College levels winning championships and awards. After a brief time in the NHL with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Allen’s professional career found him playing for a variety of teams in the ECHL and AHL, moving from city to city and league to league. The life of a professional hockey goalie can be challenging and Allen dealt with the travel and moves to different teams for six years. He enjoyed his time playing professional hockey and continues to play the game he loves and also give back to his sport by coaching young athletes.

The 2020 Induction Dinner will take place on Saturday, April 4, 2020 at the Best Western Wayside Inn Banquet Room in Wetaskiwin. Invitations are open to everyone and banquet tickets are available for purchase at ATB Financial in Wetaskiwin. The deadline for purchasing tickets will be March 27, 2020