After a lot of speculation, the Flyers have selected defenseman Emil Andrae with their second-round pick. Here’s everything you need to know.
At 5’9, 183 lbs, Andrae isn’t the mauling defenseman one would typically associate with the Flyers, but it would be foolish to disregard his talents due to his size. While he may be smaller than many, the fact he was playing in a ‘senior league’ says a lot. The Swedish Hockey League will act as a perfect stepping stone and make Andrae’s 2019 campaign that much more impressive.
The pride of HV71 amassed 38 points in 40 games last season, with 27 of them being assists. Andrae’s game is one of physicality on defense and awareness when in the offensive zone. Constantly slipping between defenders to find open space when not on the puck, he’s as slippery as they come. When the puck is at the end of his stick, he takes on a very different role as a D-man that is not afraid to carry the puck deep and take on defenders 1-on-1, relying on his twitchy skillset and leaner frame to slip by and create something special. He’s not the quickest skater in the world, but he’s a controlled skater who is well aware of his limitations and plays comfortably within the confines of his own game.
What stands out after simply a few minutes of watching tape on him is just how high that Hockey-IQ is. Andrae is a strong puck-mover who shows a sixth-sense for where his teammates are and is constantly wanting to play the facilitating role. As an aggressive forechecker, you’d like to see more speed in case of a mental error or a misjudgment.
Because he plays a game bigger than his frame, this can lead to some risky moves and problems when matched up against larger players, but his abilities elsewhere make up for what may hurt him in transition or on offense at the NHL level. If paired with someone like a Samuel Morin, lets say, who can balance that and allow him to thrive with the puck on his stick, then the potential is obvious.
Andrae is a left-handed defenseman who plays an aggressive game, has a lot of elusiveness which he offsets for speed, and should come in slightly more ‘ready’ than other prospects due to the level of play in the SHL. It will be interesting to see how Andre develops over the next few years.
The Flyers don’t have a third-round pick and will be on the clock again in round 4.
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