Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2020 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Emil Andrae.
An undersized Swedish defenceman, Emil Andrae has put up 11 goals and 27 assists for 38 points in 40 games playing for HV71’s team in the J20 Superelite league this season. It was the most points in the J20 league by a defenceman. He has also gotten his feet wet, playing 10 games in the SHL, but has yet to record a point in the men’s league. Emil also played two games with the J18, scoring four points, and one playoff game, scoring two points. Last season, Andrae scored 26 points in 28 games in the J18 league, as well as three points in five playoff games. He added seven points in 23 games in the J20.
Andrae has shown his skills on the international stage, scoring four points in five games at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup and picking up a bronze medal. Overall, he played 13 games for the Under-18 Swedish Team, picking up 12 points. He also picked up a bronze medal at last year’s Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, scoring three points in six games. Andrae was an alternate captain for the team as well. He played 17 total games for the Under-17 team scoring four goals and 10 points.
Emil Andrae Scouting Report
Defence — shoots Left
Born February 23rd, 2002 — Västervik, Sweden
Height 5’9″ — Weight 181 lbs [175 cm / 82 kg]
Andrae makes up for his lack of size with excellent mobility. He is an extremely fast skater in both directions. Andrae is explosive, with a good first step and excellent acceleration as well, allowing him to reach that top speed even quicker. However, it is his edgework and agility that is even better. He is able to manoeuvre through traffic both with and without the puck. Andrae’s pivots are extremely smooth. He can transition quickly from offence to defence and vice-versa. Andrae is very graceful. At times it appears that he is floating above the ice. Andrae will need to get stronger though. This will help his balance and help him to be stronger on the puck. His low centre of gravity is an advantage, but more core strength will help him adjust to the North American game.
Andrae is willing to rush the puck up the ice and create plays. He is also willing to join the rush without the puck. Andrae has the stickhandling skills to compliment his skating ability. He is extremely creative and can make defenders look silly at times. He also has the passing skills to quarterback the powerplay from the point. Poised with the puck on his stick, Andrae moves well laterally, walking the line to open up shooting and passing lanes. His vision is very good, and he reads the play extremely well. Andrae can make a pass through a tight passing lane to set up a teammate for a scoring chance.
Andrae has a decent slap shot but prefers to sneak in from the point and use his wrist shot or snapshot instead. This is very effective as his wrist shot has good power. It also features a quick and deceptive release that gives goaltenders issues at times. Andrae keeps his shots low, helping them to get through traffic and giving teammates a chance at tip-ins and rebounds.
Despite his size, Andrae is willing to throw hits and play a physical game in the defensive end, though there are questions how this will translate against men. He is willing to battle in the corners and in front of the net. His ability to transition the puck up the ice quickly also helps prevent the opponent’s zone time. An active stick helps him to knock the puck away from opponents and create turnovers. He reads and anticipates the play well. Andrae sometimes gambles a bit too much in trying to push the offence though. This can leave him out of position and lead to an odd-man rush against when he gets caught up the ice.
Projection and Comparison
Andrae’s skating and offensive skills can help him to overcome the questions about his lack of size. Many smaller puck-moving defenders are succeeding in the NHL right now, and Andrae certainly fits that mould. He could become a second-pair defender with big offensive and top-unit power-play responsibilities if he is able to meet his potential. Expect him to spend next season playing in Sweden, getting time in the SHL and adjusting to playing against men. When he comes to North America, he may need AHL time to adjust to playing on the smaller ice surface. His game is reminiscent of Samuel Girard but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Emil Andrae that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Emil Andrae Main Photo:
SWEDEN: Emil Andrae, D, HV71 J20, SuperElit (2020) #NHLDraft profile by @jimmyhamrin -late 1st rd. pick on our #2020NHLDraft mid-season board: “a player that makes your team better .. a strong competitor, a leader and a very skilled and smart defenseman” https://t.co/MCcuvzOg1t pic.twitter.com/ymMzy58otz
— McKeen’s Hockey (@mckeenshockey) February 20, 2020