4 Flyers Prospects to watch during World Juniors
After the World Juniors were cancelled back in December due to a positive COVID test, the best tournament in the world that showcases the NHL’s next big stars is officially back.
Tuesday night kicked off the festivities with three games throughout the day. We had CZE vs SVK early on, LAT vs FIN in the middle of the day and the USA vs GER at 10pm. There were no Flyers prospects on any of those teams yesterday with Cutter Gauthier (5th overall pick in 2022) unfortunately not getting an invite to camp.
Emil Andrae D (54th overall in 2020) – SWE
Emil is the first of four Flyers prospects to hit the ice for this tournament. Andrae was drafted in the 2nd round in 2020 and is known as a smooth two-way defenseman that can help out on the PP.
I’ve been watching Andrae in these tournaments for almost 3 years now and something that I’ve noticed about his play that I really didn’t read about or hear during the draft is that he’s incredibly calm and decisive in his own zone. His ability to feel forecheckers on his hip and find the outlet pass is fun to watch.
Here’s a nice example from todays game from Chris Maher on Twitter.
Andrae is currently playing on Team Sweden’s third pair with William Wallinder. Really excited to see what kind of numbers this kid can put up.
Brian Zanetti D (110th overall in 2021) – SUI
Zanetti is a smooth-skating defenseman (6’2 181 lbs) that plays for the Peterborough Petes of the OHL. Zanetti is 19 (just turned on March 15th) and is playing on Switzerland’s top defensive pairing as of now.
Yeah, you can make the argument that there’s not a lot of heavy competition on the team like a Team Canada but that’s still impressive for a younger kid in this kind of tournament.
Zanetti got clipped up high by his own stick and messed up a couple of his front teeth today against Sweden.
Tyson Foerster F – (23rd overall in 2020 draft) – CAN
Not that it was a good thing the tournament got canceled back in December and rescheduled for August, but I can’t sit here and say it’s not nice that Foerster now gets to represent his country now that he’s recovered from that shoulder injury.
Foerster started last season on the Phantoms but was assigned to his OHL team (Barrie Colts) after his rehab. He scored 6G-5A-11P in 13 games for the Colts and 1G-3A-4P in 6 playoff games.
At practice for Team Canada Foerster is currently skating on a line with Logan Stankoven (DAL) and Kent Johnson (CBJ).
Foerster is without a doubt a candidate to potentially make the Flyers with a strong camp so I’m excited to see how he fairs in this tournament with some younger players. Remember, Tyson played all of 2020-2021 with the Phantoms scoring 10G-7A-17P in 24GP, so he’s already used to playing against heavier players in structured system.
Extremely excited to see what Tyson can do in this tournament.
Elliot Desnoyers F (135th overall pick in 2020) – CAN
Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely excited to watch Foerster, Zanetti and Andrae play but I think Desnoyers might take the cake for me personally.
He was already an extremely solid two-way player when he was drafted back in 2020, the only question about him was how is he offensive game going to follow?
His D+1 year he scored 21G-28A-49P in 37 games and in his D+2 year he scored 42G-46A-88P in 61 games. Yes, it’s in the QMJHL (a very offensive league with no defense) but it’s still encouraging to see Desnoyers continue to improve his game year after year.
Before the tournament was canceled in December, Desnoyers had 0G-3A-3P in the first 2 games. He’ll be centering the 4th line tonight with Will Cuylle (NYR) and Nathan Gaucher (ANA) on his wings.
Catch Desnoyers and Foerster in action tonight at 6pm vs LAT.
Mandatory Credit: EliteProspects.com - Rinkside