After years of looking towards the development pipeline only to be disappointed in the results time and time again, general manager Chuck Fletcher struck some gold during the 2020 entry draft. There are a few new faces he drafted that inspire some confidence for the future, and one of the most exciting is forward Tyson Foerster.
The 2020 23rd overall pick is still just 19 years old, his birthday doesn’t roll around until mid-January, and he’s listed at 6’2 and 194lbs. His frame has helped him hang with the professionals even at his young age.
Due to the pandemic forcing the OHL season to be cancelled in 2020-21, Tyson Foerster was assigned to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the AHL, a league he wouldn’t be allowed to play in for another two seasons otherwise. He rarely looked out of place in his new environment. A broken leg sustained in his first game in Lehigh forced him to miss a month of action, but he came back and scored 10 goals and 17 points in 24 games to finish out the season. The experience he gained playing at the AHL level gives him a unique edge that most players his age don’t have.
Alain Vigneault and Ian Laperriere have both raved about the improved skating, puck protection and shot they’ve seen during training camp. “He’s a hell of a talent … the sky is the limit” said the new Phantoms coach after the rookie game last week.
He may not be quite ready to take the NHL by storm just yet, but he’s certainly making the decision for the Flyers’ brass a hard one.
His ability to bury the puck during both the rookie game and the real NHL training camp has been noticeable. He’s stepping into an organization that hasn’t had a bonafide sniper in well over a decade. The early promise he has shown when it comes to being a potential goal scorer is hard to not get excited about, but continuing to let him develop at his own pace should still be paramount.
Provided he plays in the AHL this season and not returned to juniors, the Flyers can keep a close eye on their star prospect, and that could mean that he sees NHL ice time during the 2021-22 campaign if he keeps his hot pace going. Whether it’s this season or not, sometime within the next couple years, expect Foerster to crack the main roster, and when he does, may be the game changer this organization has so badly needed. The future is Foerster, and we’re here for it.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: ahl.com