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Flyers Report Card: Full Emil Andrae Scouting Report (+)



Philadelphia Flyers news
(Photo: AP)

ALLENTOWN, PA. — Two games, two wins, and a sweep of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs. Defenseman Emil Andrae and the rest of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms are being closely watched by general manager Danny Briere and the rest of the Philadelphia Flyers brass, and they passed their first test. But Andrae isn’t just playing to win the Calder Cup. He’s also auditioning to make the Flyers again next season.

Andrae, 22, was on the Flyers and playing in NHL games early in October, but got returned to the Phantoms after a four-game cameo with the big club. With only 14 games of pro experience in North America, the Flyers decided it was best for the young defenseman to play heavy minutes regularly at the AHL level and go from there. Andrae responded with 32 points in 61 games, not including the two points he has in two Calder Cup playoff games.

It was undoubtedly a disappointment for Andrae that Phantoms teammates Ronnie Attard and Adam Ginning were called up to the NHL before he was in late February and early March, but according to Briere, this is all part of the plan.

“Emil, he’s been in the discussion. He’s obviously an important prospect for the future,” Briere told Philly Hockey Now in a recent phone interview. “We just felt, at this time, it’s better for him to play, to play lots of games, to play heavy minutes. He plays all situations in Lehigh, which is critical for his development, and he’s still young.

“It doesn’t change our view of what we think he will be in the future.”

Jamie Drysdale, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Nick Seeler all hit the deck with the Flyers’ season winding down, and then Sean Walker was traded to Colorado. It seemed like the perfect time for Andrae, who made the team out of camp, to return and bring some of his offensive skills to the table.

It wasn’t meant to be at that moment, but Briere has left the door open for Andrae and other defensemen to make an impact on the NHL club next season.

“The obvious ones are Attard and Ginning… Andrae. I think mostly on defense, in Lehigh, there’s a good group,” Briere said at his exit interview, naming prospects who could impact the Flyers next year.

And though the Flyers were unable to make the playoffs this season, Andrae is getting some playoff experience of his own. After watching the 22-year-old get to work in Game 2 against the baby Penguins on Friday night, it seems pretty obvious where Andrae is at.

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