The Philadelphia Flyers entered the second day of the 2020 NHL Draft on Wednesday with six picks in Rounds 2 through 7. They traded up in both the fourth and fifth rounds to grab players they had their eyes on, so they left with four picks. When you include their first-round pick, right winger Tyson Foerster, Philadelphia selected four wingers and one defenseman.
Round 2: Emil Andrae, D, 54th Overall
A skilled left-shot offensive defenseman, Andrae was ranked anywhere from the late first round (THW’s Josh Bell had him 22nd in his final rankings) to early in the third, where TSN’s Bob McKenzie had him. Central Scouting ranked him 15th among European skaters. On balance, the Flyers got good value late in the second round. Andrae is only 5-foot-9, but stocky at 183 pounds. He led all defensemen in scoring in the Swedish U20 league with HV71, scoring 11 goals and 38 points in 40 games in 2019-20. He also played 10 games of pro in the Swedish Hockey League and captained Sweden to a bronze medal at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Andrae has drawn raves for his package of offensive skills and skating. Jokke Nevalainen of DobberProspects noted he plays a similar style to Ottawa Senators prospect Erik Brannstrom. “His biggest strengths are his skating ability and hockey sense. His edge work is excellent and it allows him to be very elusive. He is a great passer who can start breakouts with short and long passes, and he is also very strong in the offensive zone.” Nevalainen added Andrae can get shots through traffic. “Although an offense-minded player, he is also surprisingly good defensively, especially with his active stick.”
Andrae’s skating is the linchpin of his game, as he owns good straight-line speed and the agility to operate in tight space with the puck. He’s comfortable leading the rush or being a creative puck distributor and can run a power play. But he has more than offense to offer despite his short frame. He’s not afraid to mix it up physically, earning 82 penalty minutes with HV71. “Despite his size, Andrae is willing to throw hits and play a physical game in the defensive end, though there are questions how this will translate against men,” said Ben Kerr of Last Word On Hockey. Andrae is expected to jump to the SHL full-time this season, with an assist in five games to date.
Round 4: Zayde Wisdom, RW, 94th Overall
Central Scouting had the Kingston Frontenacs center ranked 54th among North American skaters, while THW’s Larry Fisher ranked him 153rd overall in April. The Flyers liked him enough to trade the 116th and 147th picks to Tampa Bay to move up. Wisdom overcame the odds to get this far, growing up in a working-class family of Metis and Jamaican heritage in Toronto — his mom worked several jobs to put him through minor hockey. (From ‘”I want you to doubt me:” Zayde Wisdom’s against-all-odds journey to the Flyers’, The Athletic, March 30, 2020)
At 5-foot-10 and 201 pounds, Wisdom plays a physical game and owns a lethal shot, as well as the ability to find open teammates in traffic. After struggling in his rookie season for Kingston, his game blossomed in 2019-20 alongside top prospect Shane Wright and Los Angeles Kings draft pick Martin Chromiak. Wisdom scored 29 goals and 59 points in 62 games, along with 55 penalty minutes. He’s hard to knock off the puck and wins a lot of board battles as a result. His skating could use some work, and like many young prospects, he should aspire to be more consistent.
The scouting report on Wisdom from OHL Writers describes him as a power forward in and around the net. “Wisdom is not afraid to go to the dirty areas, in fact, he has a superb net front presence. You’ll find he parks himself in front of the blue paint and yes, he is hard to move. But he’ll also score the majority of his goals from the top of, or in the paint. He also has an excellent shot and release that can beat a goaltender from the high slot or coming down his wing.”
Round 5: Elliot Desnoyers, LW, 135th Overall
The Flyers traded up again here, dealing a pair of seventh-round picks at 202nd and 209th overall to Nashville for this pick. Desnoyers is the type of player coaches love — he plays a 200-foot game and will do whatever is necessary to help his team win. THW’s Brandon Share-Cohen ranked him 173rd, while Larry Fisher had him down at 265. At 5-foot-11, 172 pounds, he can play wing or center. Playing on a stacked Moncton Wildcats team, Desnoyers had 11 goals and 35 points in 2019-20, very similar numbers to his rookie QMJHL campaign. He isn’t an offensive standout, though he may get more opportunity after an off-season trade to the Halifax Mooseheads.
Round 6: Connor McClennon, RW, 178th Overall
McClennon tumbled an awfully long way on Day 2, considering Bell had him ranked 69th, Dobber Prospects put him 59th and Elite Prospects had him at 43. Primarily a goal scorer, McClennon was the second-overall pick in the 2017 Western Hockey League bantam draft. He totalled 21 goals and 49 points in 42 games for the Winnipeg Ice in 2019-20 until a broken collarbone ended his season in January.
Corey Pronman of The Athletic wrote in January he sees McClennon as a good pro. “I see a player with a high level of hockey sense who can make plays and score goals. McClennon is a small forward without elite speed, but I still think he skates very well and often is the zone entry guy for his club team. He competes well and kills penalties in the WHL.” (From ‘Ranking the 2020 Draft top prospects at midseason’, The Athletic, Jan. 29, 2020)
The Flyers didn’t add many prospects on Day 2, but the potential is there for them to get two or three future NHLers out of this draft class.