The Flyers added five players to their organization during the 2020 NHL Draft.
The 2020 NHL Draft came and went with Round One on Tuesday, followed by Rounds Two-Seven on Wednesday. The Flyers came into the draft with seven picks, however, they left bringing five players to the organization.
It was a heavy forward draft as the team took just one defenseman a year after they loaded up on the back end. They made a few trades to move up and grab players they so clearly wanted.
So with five new players donning the orange and black, let’s get to know the Flyers 2020 Draft Class.
Drafted: First Round, 23rd overall
Size: 6’2”, 194 lbs
Team: Barrie Colts (OHL)
2019-20 Stats : 62 GP, 36 G, 44 A, 80 PTS
With plenty of forwards available to choose from in the first round, the Flyers went with Tyson Foerster. Foerster has one of the best shots coming out of the draft and is the prototypical sniper that fans have been looking for.
The stats paint the picture as he led the Colts in every offensive category. He blew everyone out of the water with a 33-point gap over him and his next teammate. Foerster broke out in a big way after his 10-goal, 23-point campaign a season ago.
He will have to work on his skating, which is one of his only weaknesses. But Foerster has already been putting in the work on correcting his form. Assistant GM Brett Flahr was excited about what the Flyers have in Foerster.
“We had a group of players ranked near one another, with different skillsets. Tyson is an outstanding shooter; he loves to fire the puck. Good offensive instincts and can set up a play. Wth the skating, a lot of it is strength. We can work on that with him.”
Drafted: Second Round, 54th Overall
Team/League: HV-71, Sweden Jr.
Size: 5’8″, 181 lbs
2019-20 Stats: 40 GP, 11 G, 27 A, 38 PTS
Emil Andrae was the only defenseman the Flyers took during this year’s draft. While offensively gifted, it’s his small stature that likely caused him to fall a bit in the draft. It happens every season where scouts knock on players because of their size.
But those problems appear to be a thing of the past when you have guys like Brayden Point dominating in the playoffs. Andrae makes up for that size in just about everything else he does on the ice.
He led all defensemen in Sweden’s top junior league with those 38 points. He even debuted for HV71 in the SHL, appearing in 10 games with the team. Even though he didn’t grab a point, he showed he could play in the top league. That’s where he has been thus far this season.
Andrae has one point in five games in the SHL so far this year. Mark Greig, a long-time scout with the Flyers, had a lot of good things to say about the young defenseman.
“I like his offensive dynamic. He’s a good skater and a heads up player that’s a real crafty puck-handler. He has vision. At times you can see him slow down the game in transition and then going forward. He can also be dynamic off the offensive blueline and find offense.”
Drafted: Fourth Round, 94th Overall
Position: Right Wing
Team: Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
Size: 5’10”, 195 lbs
2019-20 Stats: 62 GP, 29 G, 30 A, 59 PTS
Before the Flyers could draft Wisdom, they had to trade up to do so. They exchanged the 116th and 147th picks with the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 94th pick. And that gave them Zayde Wisdom.
Wisdom took a large leap in his game this season. He obliterated his totals from a season ago where he posted just three goals and 10 points. He was only behind teammate Shayne Wright in both goals and points. Wisdom was second in assists as well.
He is a hard player to knock off the puck and knows exactly where to park himself in front of the net. His tough style should fit in perfectly with the Flyers. And it doesn’t hurt that he has Wayne Simmonds in his corner.
“I just think he’s got that ‘It’ factor. He’s gone through a lot as a young kid — you could tell in his demeanor. He came to my ball hockey tournaments and you could tell he had that drive. He had all the skills in the world, he just loved to play the game, he had that passion for it, and you see that now as he’s going through Kingston.”
Drafted: Fifth Round, 135th Overall
Position: Left Wing
Team: Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Size: 5’11, 172 lbs
2019-20 Stats: 61 GP, 11 G, 24 A, 35 PTS
The Flyers were once again aggressive in jumping up to grab Elliot Desnoyers. They exchanged the 202nd and 209th pick with the Nashville Predators for the 135th pick.
There wasn’t much out there when it came to Desnoyers. He appears to be a player that could slot into the bottom-six but comes with some upside. He spent last season with the Moncton Wildcats before a trade sent him to Halifax over the summer.
Desnoyers was high up on the list when it came to some of the team’s scouting department.
“He’s a guy that our guys in the Quebec league were high on. He played on a very good Moncton team last year. Didn’t have a huge role, but got better and better throughout the year. This year, he’s moved to Halifax and has a big role on the team. He’s had a real good start. He’s a real hardworking, energy two-way center and wing.”
He appears to have a bigger role with the Mooseheads as he’s posted two points in his first two games. He was also named an assistant captain for Halifax. After seemingly stalling out in production last season, the Flyers could be banking on a breakout season.
Drafted: Sixth Round, 178th overall
Position: Right Wing
Team: Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
Size: 5’8, 168 lbs
2019-20 Stats: 42 GP, 21 G, 28 A, 49 PTS
With their final pick in the 2020 Draft, the Flyers went with Connor McClennon. Despite starting off the season slow, the young forward came on hot shortly after. A collarbone injury ended his season in January, however.
While his stature may be small, he plays the game as if he’s the biggest player on the ice. His motor is non-stop and his creativity on the ice is a sight to behold. He’s been able to produce at every level he has hit thus far in his young career.
It also helped that he is familiar with someone else that has ties to the Flyers organization.
“One of the top picks in the Western League. Has been a prolific scorer in his age group. His competitiveness is very strong, very good motor. Very good shot and loves to shoot. Players his size need that. He has to get stronger, obviously, and he is working on that. We had a bit of an inside edge on him. He is good friends with Ridly Greig.”
McClennon’s ceiling is high for that of a late-round draft pick. He’ll be starting things off in Sweden as he awaits the beginning of the WHL season. And he has yet another tie to the organization as he is coached by James Patrick, the uncle of Nolan Patrick.