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Emil Andrae Likely to Play in North America After All

(Andy Devlin/Getty Images)

Alexander Appleyard of The Athletic is in tune with everything European in relation to the Philadelphia Flyers, and tweeted earlier on Sunday that it sounds like Emil Andrae will be playing in North America after all.

Earlier in the summer, Philadelphia Flyers website contributor Bill Meltzer unearthed a juicy piece of information in relation to Emil Andrae and his prospects of playing in North America during the 2023-24 season. There were changes made to the agreement made between the NHL and the Swedish Ice Hockey Association in 2022 that had implications on Swedish prospects drafted outside of the first round.

Essentially, the Swedish Ice Hockey Association has first dibs on players drafted outside of the first round who don’t make their respective NHL club out of of training camp. First round picks are safe regardless of their NHL team’s decisions but the rest had to report to their Swedish teams first. Since Andrae was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, he fell into this amendment and it put a question mark over his prospects in 2023-24.

Meltzer had mentioned that there was a grandfather clause in motion if the player had signed their ELC before the deal was amended back in 2022, but Andrae had signed his ELC in March 27th, 2023. There was another loophole where the Swedish League club could allow the player to play in North America if asked and/or convinced.

Which apparently has happened with HV71 posting a thank you message on their Instagram page for Andrae – English translation: “Thank you Emil for your time in HV71 and good luck on your new adventure! #hv71”

Overall, this is fantastic news for the Philadelphia Flyers because they have big plans in store for the 21-year-old after a very strong 2022-23 campaign that saw him rise the rankings with relative ease.

In his draft season, Andrae scored 38 points in 40 games at the J20 SuperElit level and went without a point in his first taste of the SHL. The following season, he played in 31 games for HV71 in the SHL but only potted 7 points and added 6 points in 15 games on loan for Vasterviks IK of the HockeyAllsvenskan – second tier league in Sweden.

His fortunes reversed in 2021-22 after spending the entire season in the HockeyAllsvenskan for HV71 where he scored 33 points in just 41 games, while also captaining team Sweden at the World Juniors with 4 goals and 8 points in 7 games. The following season he was promoted to the SHL and scored 6 goals and 26 points in 51 games before signing an ATO with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. 

In short order he impressed at the North American level and scored 6 points in just 10 games but it was his style of play that really caught everyone’s attention. Standing in at just 5’9″, Andrae weighs in at 181 pounds and plays a physical and “bigger” game than anyone with his stature, akin to perhaps fellow Swede, Niklas Kronwall.

After such a strong 2022-23 season, Andrae now finds himself in a prime position to perhaps snag a roster spot for the Flyers with a strong training camp. He will have to battle Yegor Zamula and Ronnie Attard, as well as the veterans in Marc Staal, Sean Walker, and Victor Mete.

There is no longer a worry about Andrae having to make the roster outright with the chance of him being sent back to Sweden, which should help the Flyers coaching staff and player alike.

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