The Flyers wasted no time signing one of their 2020 NHL draft picks.
Zayde Wisdom, the club's fourth-round selection last week, inked his three-year entry-level contract on Monday.
The 18-year-old winger is coming off a 2019-20 season in which he scored 59 points (29 goals, 30 assists) through 62 games for the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs. Wisdom, who has overcome all sorts of adversity and has a mentor in Wayne Simmonds, pursues and protects the puck like a pro.
"I would say more than 90 percent of my game is work ethic and perseverance," Wisdom said last week after the Flyers traded up to select him at the start of the fourth round. "I’ve worked hard and grinded my whole life to get to this moment right now and it feels amazing to be here finally. I would say most of my game would be just my hard work and perseverance and my willingness to go to the dirty areas."
Wisdom will be a Flyers prospect to watch in 2020-21 with the Frontenacs. He is set to play on a line with Shane Wright, a talented 16-year-old center who is considered one of the top prospects for the 2022 NHL draft.
"Wisdom is another guy that we had rated highly," Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said last week. "He’s a different type of player, you guys have probably read up on the history of the young man. Really impressive, impressive kid. Extremely driven. He plays with Wright, who’s a special exemption player in the OHL, he’s two drafts away, very special player. [Wisdom is] going to be on one of the top junior lines in Canada for the next couple years. Just playing with a player like that and with his tremendous work ethic, we feel he’s just going to get better and better. If and when he does make it, he’s a player that our fans are going to love just because of the heart and passion that he plays with."
Wisdom was one of five players selected by the Flyers in last week's draft. The Toronto native made an impressive 49-point jump during his draft year after scoring 10 points through his first season with Kingston in 2018-19. Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said the north-south winger has an "understated skill level."
"This offseason has been a lot of conditioning," Wisdom said. "Trying to make it into those extra minutes at the end of the game where you're starting to feel gassed or you're starting to feel heavy. A lot of work has gone into conditioning. Even more work has went into my explosive ability, my explosive starts, my explosiveness off the boards, stuff like that. I just plan on being even faster than last season; that’s my main focus this year."