Hendrix Lapierre, Lukas Reichel, Sam Colangelo, Jacob Perreault, Justin Barron, Jeremie Poirier, Anton Lundell, John-Jason Peterka, Dylan Holloway, Ozzy Wiesblatt, Ridly Greig, Zion Nybeck, Braden Schneider, Thomas Bordeleau, Jake Neighbours
In my opinion, you could best sum up Emil Andrae as a more well rounded version of the prototypical offensive defenseman. Here you have an undersized player with great hands who loves walking the line and making plays, though Andrae is far more solid in his own zone, which separates him from offensive defensemen in the Flyers system such as Shayne Gostisbehere. He isn’t stellar in his own end, not enough so to classify him as a two-way player nor a #1 prospect, nor does he solely focus on offense and take as many risks as other defensemen in this draft class such as Jeremie Poirier.
Andrae is a good skater, and is solid mechanically, though he does lack the top end speed that is somewhat expected of smaller players. However, he makes up for this with his hockey IQ, ability to consistently make plays, and overall balanced game.
Let’s take a look:
What do the stats say?
Andrae has been one of the best defenseman in all of Sweden at the juniors level for his age group.
In last season’s Swedish U20 league, playing for HV71, Andrae was at a near point-per-game pace, scoring 38 points (11 goals) in 40 games. This success saw him play in 10 SHL games as well, though he failed to register a point. Andrae has also represented Sweden in international competition for the past three seasons, having captained the U18 side in 13 games where he scored 12 points.
The stats do not lie. Emil Andrae is one heck of a player.
The Eye Test
Andrae is extremely dangerous when he is allowed to move into space when he pinches into the offensive zone. He possess a high amount of offensive creativity, and a good shot that is forward level quality. If you like the plays where Ivan Provorov and Phil Myers snipe from the circles on a pinch, get used to more of that from Andrae.
Despite being undersized, Andrae is one tough customer. He doesn’t hit actively, but he doesn’t shy away from hitting and you really do see his physical impact. This highlight below is from the SHL, a men’s league. Andrae may not be immediately NHL ready from a physical perspective, but I would wager he is pretty close.
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
Andrae, on top of all this, is also a great power-play asset. Andrae sees the ice very well, and has a great hockey IQ on when to and when not to make plays, so that translates really well when on the man advantage. He can make excellent, difficult passes that can result in easy goals for other skaters.
Andrae’s game doesn’t have many weaknesses. The one thing I can really point to is that he isn’t blindingly fast. His speed isn’t a concern. It is only just average. Otherwise, he closes gaps well, can use his physicality to separate men from the puck, and is positionally sound despite being a very offensively geared defenseman.
He is getting a second round grade from many leading analysts, though in the end, I think Andrae could be a steal for whichever team drafts him. If this happens to be the Flyers, it would be yet another solid pick, perhaps one that could pay dividends sooner than many scouts think.