With the 54th Pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft the Philadelphia Flyers Have Selected Emil Andrae from the HV71 of the Swedish J20 SuperElit League
About Emil Andrae
In a draft class dominated by forwards, Swedish defenseman Emil Andrae is among the premier offensive-defenseman available in the 2020 draft. Although he’s only 5’9″, Andrae plays an incredibly heady game that allows him to mitigate much of the issues that come with his size. Registering 11 goals and 27 assists in 40 games, he finished the 2019-20 season as the top-scoring defenseman in the J20 SuperElit league.
Related: Our Free NHL Draft Guide
Combining his high-end hockey IQ with above-average skating and elite skill, Andrae has the potential to impact games in the offensive zone. While he will likely never develop into a premier shutdown defenseman, his hockey sense and skating, combined with a surprising edginess to his game, should allow him to be effective in his own zone.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt
An offense-first defenseman, Andrae has excellent foot speed, hypnotizing puck skills, and is strong on his stick, which helps him to be effective at both ends of the ice.
When initiating a rush, Andrae is the guy you want to have the puck. He builds speed quickly and carries the puck well, but one of the strongest tools in his kit is his ability to find teammates on the rush. He can move the puck up ice himself, or effortlessly fire off a tape-to-tape pass. He often makes the right decisions with the puck, and has a natural ability to read a play as it’s developing, which is another one of his major draws.
Andrae is only 5-foot-9, which is where there are some questions about how his game will transition outside of junior hockey. He played 10 games at the SHL level, but with such little ice time to work with, he didn’t manage any points. However, it’s a promising sign that he did earn those call-ups at only the age of 17.
Though he’s on the smaller side for defensemen, Andrae has some bite to his game and isn’t afraid to get physical. He logged 82 penalty minutes in just 40 games this season, which is typically uncommon for smaller, offensive-minded blueliners.
How This Affects the Flyers’ Plans
After taking a goal-scoring forward in Tyson Foerster with their first round pick, Philadelphia used its second pick on a defenseman in Andrae. While they’re already fairly deep at defense, especially after taking Cam York in last year’s draft, Andrae is a solid pick, especially considering where they took him. Although the Swedish defender lacks size and truly elite skating, he combines a strong two-way game with good hockey sense and offensive ability. The Flyers prospect depth on defense should allow him to develop physically and work on his skating without significant pressure to contribute sooner than later.