After selecting big-bodied goal scorer Tyson Foerster in the first round of the draft, the Flyers used their later round picks to add a defenseman and three more forwards.
Here’s the complete 2020 draft class:
- 23rd overall – Tyson Foerster, RW, Barrie (OHL)
- 54th overall – Emil Andrae, D, HV71 (Sweden)
- 94th overall – Zayde Wisdom, RW, Kingston (OHL)
- 135th overall – Elliot Desnoyers, LW, Halifax (QMJHL)
- 178th overall – Connor McClennon, RW, Winnipeg (WHL)
We talked about Foerster yesterday, whom Chuck Fletcher described as a guy with a scoring mentality and wicked shot. Assistant GM Brent Flahr echoed those sentiments while saying that he sees a lot of upside in the OHL product.
As for Andrae, Flyers scout Mark Greig said this about his game:
“First and foremost the puck-moving ability. He can skate the puck out of trouble too in game zones and support and provide offense and going forward. The whole offensive package first and foremost comes to mind. He’s a crafty player. He’s got good vision. He can be dynamic off the offensive blue line at times. I also think he has the ability to slow things down a bit with his possession and transition. A little piece of cerebral-ness to the way that he plays with the puck. The bulk of his game that I like is the puck game and his offensive side of it. He is undersized. Comparable we’ve kind of kicked around is (Adam) Fox that the Rangers signed. These undersized guys like Torey Krug that are offensive. I guess they draw comparables because they are offensive and small, but they each have their own dynamics. Those would be a couple names that come to mind.”
He’s 5’9″, 182 pounds, a little on the small side, as Greig points out. Andrae had 11 goals and 27 assists in the 2019-2020 Swedish J20 SuperElit league, which is the highest level of junior hockey in the country.
Wisdom, whom the Flyers traded up to get, is an intriguing story. His mentor is former Flyer Wayne Simmonds and he had a difficult childhood, but came through the Canadian youth ranks to score 29 goals and add 30 assists for the Kingston Frontenacs last season.
He said this about coming to Philly:
“I always knew Philly was in consideration. 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.”
For overall draft grades, it was a mixed bag. Bleacher Report gave the Flyers a B- and The Athletic rated the Flyers in their second-highest tier of grades.
ESPN had this to say:
Favorite pick: Zayde Wisdom, No. 94 overall
Philadelphia got a pretty solid scorer in Tyson Foerster with its first pick, which pads a system that graduated Joel Farabee and soon will do the same with Morgan Frost. Foerster can change his release and has a great shot off the pass. The Flyers took a chance on an undersized but offensively gifted defenseman in Emil Andrae, who went at a very reasonable 54th overall. He is 5-foot-9, but his offensive ability provides upside.
One pick that I think a lot of people were cheering for was Zayde Wisdom, who has overcome a number of obstacles to become a legitimate NHL prospect. He played big minutes with Kingston in the OHL and plays the game hard; he’s a Philly kind of guy. Lastly, the Flyers picked up Connor McClennon, my No. 75 prospect, late. He flashes hand skills, good vision and sharp offensive instincts. This wasn’t a franchise-changing draft by any means, but it was productive.
I looked at a couple of other stories and the Flyers weren’t listed as a winner or a loser, so that’s a decent-enough spot to be in. They needed goal scoring and forward-depth, and that’s where they decided to focus on in this draft. We’ll see how these guys pan out.