The Flyers entered day two of the NHL Draft without a third-round pick due to last year’s Justin Braun trade. It was important that they made their fourth-round pick count, so they opted to do so by spending some extra capital in order to secure the services of Zayde Wisdom.
Trading picks 116 and 147 in order to snatch Wisdom at 94 was an aggressive move, but why did they make it?
Wisdom was TSN’s 71st-ranked player, standing at 5’10, 195 lbs. There’s definitely value to be had in terms of the Flyers’ trade. As another center from the OHL, Wisdom piled in 59 points for the Kingston Frontenacs last year, sitting only behind Shane Wright, who has elite potential written all over him.
First-round pick Tyson Foerster was more than just a league opponent for Wisdom, as he revealed to the media after hearing the news. With them both playing the same position, it could create an interesting dynamic.
“Actually I’ve known him for quite a while. I’ve known Tyson since we were like 5 or 6. We played in a few summer hockey tournaments. I’m super excited for him. He’s a very good player as well. I’m still going to go in with the same work ethic and same intensity that I would go in whether it be Philly, Boston, Tampa, any of those teams. I’m looking for a spot and I won’t let anybody stop me.”
What’s really interesting here is that his mentor is someone Flyers fans will know very well – Wayne Simmonds. When asked about the relationship between the two, Zayde showed that he had picked up plenty of ‘Wisdom’ from the former Flyers fan favorite.
“Having a guy like that who’s played in the league for that long and who’s still playing in the league is amazing.” Wisdom said. “He’s obviously a veteran guy, a grizzled guy. He’s been through some stuff. He’s been through most of the stuff that the league has to offer. Having a guy like that in your corner where he’s giving you advice and letting you know what your best decision would be and advising you helps a ton.”
During his first presser as a Flyer, it became clear that he was in adoration of the City.
“I always knew Philly was in consideration.” He said. “I play their type of hockey. Big body. The Broad Street Bullies as they’re known. Big body, kind of gritty hockey. They’re always there for me in my mind. I was like maybe these guys. It was never strong or anything like that. I had no clue who I was going to in the draft. No clue who I was going to coming into this. Super excited to hear my name by the Broad Street Bullies for sure.”
Wisdom looks to be a strong cultural fit in Philadelphia and with the team trading up to get him, will have a sense of confidence that the franchise is all-in on making him the best player he can be.
Photo by Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire