Winner: Emil Andrae
Out of all players coming to the Philadelphia Flyers’ development camp, Emil Andrae might have had the most to prove, and boy did he shine.
Standing at just 5’9″, Emil Andrae’s size is a major concern as a defenceman. Yet, Andrae’s strength and work ethic allows him to play like he’s 6’9″, a la Zdeno Chara. Andrae has looked mean and physical on the ice during development camp, and prompted development coach Riley Armstrong to say that “He kind of looks Kimmo Timonen out there”. That’s some high praise for Andrae, who is yet to make his NHL debut at age 21.
Emil Andrae also (accidentally) injured center Elliot Desnoyers with a hit during a board battle in Wednesday’s session. Fortunately, Desnoyers was healthy enough to skate Thursday, and participated in the scrimmage finale.
Andrae’s prospects of making the Philadelphia Flyers’ roster are still a bit dim, and carry some implications. If Andrae doesn’t make the Flyers’ roster outright, it will be up to his Swedish parent club HV71 Jonkoping to decide whether Andrae goes to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms or rejoins HV71 in Sweden.
Still, beyond Travis Sanheim and Cam York, there won’t be much competition standing in the way of Emil Andrae. Recently signed Marc Staal and holdover Nick Seeler are veteran options, but shouldn’t block the feisty Swede from making his mark in Philly.