Flyers 94th Pick in the 2020 Draft Has a Day; Taking an Early Look at Chuck Fletcher’s 2020 Draft
Zayde Wisdom, the 94th pick in the 2020 draft, winner of the E.J McGuire Award of Excellence, showed out today for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in their third game of the 2020-2021 season. Wisdom scored twice and added an assist to the overtime winning goal to lift the Phantoms to a wild 5-4 victory in Hershey on Valentines day.
Wisdom’s first goal came after a scramble play in front of the net resulted in a bouncing puck finding Wisdom’s stick. David Kase’s active stick to disrupt the potential breakout and allow Chris Mueller to create a chance off the loose puck was a key play.
Wisdom shows off his agility and speed with a quick little move to the outside to get the defender back on his heels. Wisdom takes the space on the wing caused by the move and catches Ilya Samsonov wayyy out of position.
It doesn’t get prettier than this. This is the definition of a goal scorers kind of goal.
Wisdom isn’t the biggest player in the world, standing at 5’10. On this play though, Wisdom uses his body extremely well. He knows he has leverage on the outside with the speed he created on the move at the blue line, he uses his underrated hands (29 goals last year for Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL) to pick the corner for his 2nd of the night.
Two goals in your third game as a pro isn’t enough apparently, as Wisdom wastes no time picking up his first assist of his career, in OT nonetheless.
Out muscles the defender he was fighting with in-front of the net, finds the loose puck and finds a wide open David Kase (1G-2A vs Hershey) for the game winning goal. A beautiful way to cap off a terrific game. Wisdom doesn’t shy away from physical play for an 18 year old rookie that’s only 5’10. He enjoys playing in the “dirty areas”, finding loose pucks and using his in-tight agility to make defender look like they’re standing still. A great start in the young career of Zayde Wisdom.
This strong play recently added in with his play back in training camp with the Flyers, where he didn’t look out of place, might raise the question. Does he go back to Junior again? Lets give it a little more time but he’s certainly not giving Chuck Fletcher a reason to send him back. If he’s doing this in the AHL now, what good is sending him back to Junior going to do? Let him get the reps with grown men. Again, it’s super early (3 games) but still a terrific sign in the development of Zayde Wisdom.
An Early Look at The 2020 Draft
Chuck Fletchers first draft as Philadelphia Flyers GM came and went with Fletcher leaving the draft with Cam York and Bobby Brink (14th and 34th overall), two players who both just took home gold in the recent World Junior Tournament.
York (as captain) finished the tournament with 1G-5A for 6P in 7 games. Brink finished with 2G-4A for 6P in 7 games. Both players had their best games (although both scoreless) of the tournament in that gold medal game. Each did the little things it takes to win a game vs an opponent like Team Canada.
York had an assist for Michigan today:
The rest of the players Fletcher came away with in the draft:
- Ronald Attard (D) – 72nd overall, plays for Western Michigan in the NCAA and currently has 6G-11A for 17P in 22 games.
- Mason Millman (D) – 103rd overall, currently playing for the Phantoms in the AHL. +3 in pro debut.
- Egor Serdyuk (RW) – 165th overall, currently playing for the Victoriaville Tigers in the QMJHL. Has 1G-3A for 4P in 14 games.
- Roddy Ross (G) – 169th overall, currently not playing. Awaiting the return of the WHL season in March,
- Bryce Brodzinski (RW) – 196th overall, currently playing for the University of Minnesota in the NCAA. Has 5G-4A for 9P in 21 games.
The 2019 draft is a solid class. It’s a class that I think is going to be pretty hard draft class to compete with. Getting both York and Brink within the top 35 is a win in my book. Add in these other players with plenty of time to develop and you have an argument there.
The 2020 draft class has a chance to be better.
23rd overall: Tyson Foerster (F)
Foerster already possesses a ridiculous shot that the Flyers have been severely lacking since Jeff Carter got shipped. He had his skating issues coming into the draft that scouts were worried about but Foerster worked hard in the off-season and has made big strides in that area of his game. A long side fellow draft class pick, Zayde Wisdom, Foerster got to participate in Training Camp with the Flyers this year. Being able to get that work in with the big club, regardless of what the chances of making the team are, is huge. Although both had 0 shot to make the team out of camp, they both didn’t look out of place and Foerster showed off that wicked shot in the scrimmage game before the season started.
Foerster unfortunately suffered a shin fracture in a whacky play in his first game as a pro. A falling opposing player accidentally slid right into Foerster’s leg causing Tyson to land hard on the ice, causing visible pain as he was struggling to put any weight on that leg while leaving the ice. Foerster is out 3-4 weeks as he recovers from his injury. Get well soon, Tyson.
54th overall: Emil Andrae (D)
A 5’10 smooth-skating defenseman out of the SHL, got to watch Andrae in the World Junior Tournament and I liked the pick the more and more I watched. Another smaller player that refuses to play down to his height. Andrae is not afraid to step up on the blue line or get rough in the corners. His aggressiveness does hurt him at times, as he loves jumping into the play (possesses underrated offensive skills) and creating on the rush. Other than the occasional aggressive pinch, Andrae is tough in the neutral zone and along the boards. He possesses enough skill to get the puck out of his zone and up to his forwards with ease and makes a crisp first pass.
After shifting leagues and now playing for a new team (Vasterviks in the Swedish League). Andrae has put up 2 goals in 3 games since joining. Take a look at one of the goals here, Andrae loves to create offense.
Adding York and Andrae to a pipeline that has seen most of its high-end defensive prospects already graduate (Gostisbehere, Provorov, Sanheim, Myers) is huge.
Andrae played behind older talent in the World Junior Tournament, just like York did last year for Team USA. Andrae got to play in the top 4 for a little when Broberg (EDM) couldn’t suit up. Andrae looked serviceable in that role and finished the tournament with 1 point in 5 games. A really good pick by Chuck Fletcher.
94th overall: Zayde Wisdom
We already talked about him earlier. He didn’t look out of place in Training Camp with the Flyers and he’s had a great start with the Phantoms (2G-1A for 3P) in his first three games as a pro. Excited to watch this kids development.
He’s the youngest Phantoms player (18) in franchise history.
135th overall: Elliot Desnoyers
The “knock” if you will, on Desnoyers going into the draft was that he was already a solid two-way player, it was just his offensive side of the game that was blocking him from being a 2nd or 3rd round pick.
Well, hello offensive Elliot Desnoyers.
12G-14A for 26P in 22 games. Desnoyers bursted into the scene with his new team, the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL. 5th in the league in points (26), Desnoyers has shown he has that offensive side in his game and hasn’t been shy about it.
Desnoyers had a 4-goal game back in October. Follow this thread to watch all four goals.
Desnoyers has missed the last couple games with an “upper body” injury.
At 135th overall this is house money for Chuck Fletcher, if it doesn’t work out, it’s a 135th pick, most of them don’t. If it does, you just struck gold on the 135th overall pick. That’s value and how you build a successful hockey team from within. It’s still early, but it looks like Chuck found himself a player.
178th overall: Connor McClennon
Another player that has offensive talent and slipped down the draft board. Currently playing for the Drayton Valley Thunder of the AJHL, McClennon has 2G-2A for 4P in 3 games, scoring all 4 of his points in one game. Seeing that his last game was on November 21st, McClennon hasn’t played in a while but it’s still nice to see him putting up the points when he is playing.
- As of now, practice for tomorrow (2/15) is still happening.
- Giroux, Braun, Lindblom, Voracek, Laughton, Frost and Konecny still on Covid-19 protocol list.
- Sanheim off list
- Jay O’Brien (19th overall in 2018) scored a hat-trick on 2/13. Has 6G-4A for 10P in 10 games for Boston University.
- David Kase had 1G-2A today (2/14) vs Hershey. Scored OT winner. Definitely going to see Kase up with the Flyers if they play Thursday and still have the same names on the protocol list.
- Flyers as of now still supposed to play Rangers at Lake Tahoe.
- Giroux is having another baby boy!
- Linus Hogberg (135th overall in 2016) scored his first AHL point today 2/14 on David Kase OT goal
Mandatory Credit: Chris Tanouye