The 2020 second-round pick has definite offensive upside, there’s no denying that.
No. 15: Emil Andrae
2020-21 League/Team(s): HV71/Vasterviks IK (loan), SHL/HockeyAllsvenskan
2020-21 Statistics: 3 G, 10 A, 13 P in 46 G
Acquired In: 2020 NHL Entry Draft, 54th overall
Ranking in Spring 2020 25 Under 25: N/A
How did Andrae’s 2020-21 hockey season go? Is his stock trending up or down from where it was entering the year?
After getting a taste of the Sweden’s highest tier league towards the end of his 2019-20 season at just 17 years of age, Andrae logged more valuable time in the SHL before being loaned to Vasterviks in the second-tier league for 15 games in which he notched three goals and three assists.
Though he was kind of all over the place in terms of where he was playing, Andrae flashed the skills that make him a promising — albeit undersized — offensive-minded defender. He also logged more time with Sweden’s under-20 squad at World Juniors, where he posted an assist in five games.
A lack of ice time and opportunity really held Andrae back from a massive leap forward in development last year, and the Flyers will undoubtedly like to see him have an expanded role with his club next season even if it’s not in the SHL. For that, his stock is neither up nor down as he remains an intriguing prospect with offensive upside on the blue line.
What are we expecting from Andrae this season? What should we be looking for from him?
Andrae will be back in the second-tier Swedish league to start the 2021-22 season where the Flyers hope that he’ll log a bunch of minutes in all situations to further his development.
We know that he can move the puck and skate, but we really want to see how the 19-year-old will adjust to playing at his size against bigger competition. At 5-foot-9, 180 pounds, Andrae relies n his speed and quickness to escape puck battles and avoid pressure. He’s very strong on the puck and carries the zone well in addition to using his offensive instincts to find passing and shooting lanes.
Where we’d like to see him improve is in his all-around game to include playing without the puck in his own zone. Against lower levels of competition skilled defensive players like Andrae can often get away with floating around their own zone and lacking an overall sense of urgency to defend. Due to his lack of size, Andrae needs to go to the Kimmo Timonen school of positioning, awareness, and hockey IQ in his own zone.
Andrae has a great opportunity to fine tune the weakness in his game this year, and set himself up for a promotion to the SHL and a chance to show his offensive game is ready for show time. Using this season to his advantage in becoming a more well-rounded player will go a long way in his development.
How does Andrae fit into the Flyers’ long-term plans? Where does he stand in the Flyers’ organizational depth?
The Flyers are really high on Andrae’s offensive upside, and it’s no surprise that assistant general manager Brent Flahr recently told the Athletic that the organization is looking forward to the player getting an increased role and steady ice time in 2021-22.
Reading into Flahr’s comments says that the Flyers are ready to see Andrae’s full game take shape to fall in behind his obvious upside offensively. It’s also telling that they’re more concerned about Andrae getting plenty of time in all situational roles because they clearly view him as more than just a third-pairing offensive dynamo — they believe he has the tools to be more.
What do we think Andrae’s ultimate NHL upside is, and how likely is it that he gets to something approaching that?
Andrae was a popular prospect in his draft year for his flair for offense and his instincts with the puck on his stick. There’s almost always a place for a guy who can break the puck out of his zone clean, make breakout passes, and get pucks through traffic from the point to the net — all areas the Swede excels in.
Flahr’s comments are encouraging in terms of the Flyers’ organizational outlook on Andrae, and his highlight reel suggests that there’s a lot to be excited about in terms of his potential. While there’s a lot to like, he needs more seasoning and experience to see if he can excel with a smaller frame against better competition.
Emil Andrae hade show i sista perioden! pic.twitter.com/ljUQyWI1dD
— HV71 (@HV71) September 5, 2020
— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) May 26, 2020
Soft hands on display:
— Sabremetrix (@Sabremetrix) June 12, 2020
Patience, wicked wrist shot:
Here’s that goal by Emil Andrae in the 3-1 loss to Russia. High-IQ type stuff here, but if you watch enough of Andrae you know that’s par for the course. It’s a risky play that only a few defensemen his age can pull off. Nice work by Oskar Magnusson and Gabriel Sall to set it up. pic.twitter.com/uTaOkjrQoE
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) February 5, 2020
Throwing the body:
Emil Andrae, 5-foot-9 Smol King defenceman for HV71, playing in the SHL, against men, just lowering the boom like that on a pinch. We really do love to see it,,,, pic.twitter.com/PiSycB1DQB
— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) May 15, 2020