Flyers

Flyers sign 1st-round pick who is rising (and scoring) at junior level

Flyers

Just over a week ago, Tyson Foerster heard his name called by the Flyers in the first round of the 2020 NHL draft. Eight days later, the 18-year-old has his first contract.

The Flyers on Wednesday signed the 23rd overall pick to his three-year entry-level deal.

Foerster, a goal-seeking winger with a potent shot, amassed 80 points (36 goals, 44 assists) through 62 regular-season games for the OHL's Barrie Colts in 2019-20. He put up a six-point game (three goals, three assists), nine multi-goal performances and a pair of 13-game point streaks.

The 6-foot-2, 194-pound prospect should push to turn pro in 2021-22 but has two years left of junior eligibility and it would not be surprising to see the Flyers have him play out his final two seasons with Barrie.

Foerster likes to emulate T.J. Oshie's game because of its completeness. Foerster developed into a first-round prospect with the help of Colts head coach and Hockey Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk, who died in August at 57 years old following a cancer battle.

"When we met with him, he expressed that a lot," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said last week of Foerster's desire to grow into a complete player. "Playing under Dale Hawerchuk, Dale was very influential I think in Tyson’s career. Tyson obviously has a lot of offensive gifts — he can shoot the puck tremendously well, goal scorer, playmaker, great hockey sense, really good size. He’s got a lot of attributes, but Dale pushed him. Working on the skating and working on your play away from the puck, which is not unusual for a junior player.

 

"I think the good thing about Tyson, there's very good self-awareness of his strengths and the areas he needs to improve, and he’s worked very hard on those areas during the pause. We expect that he’ll continue to develop into a pretty good player."

Foerster will have to continue sharpening his skating stride, which has been deemed laborious by some scouting outlets.

"Actually I’ve been working on that a lot for the past six months," he said last week. "I feel it has improved a lot and I feel like I’m that much closer to the next level and playing with the Flyers.

"I started working out with my trainer Aaron Downey at least six months ago. Right when this all started, he took me in right away and I feel like that helped me a lot, getting stronger and faster. I needed to work on my skating and my speed, so I think that really helped me a lot with my quick feet. I also started right away with my skating coach Paul Matheson. It’s been a long six months, but it’s been worth it all and I feel I've improved a lot."

Terry Wilson/OHL Images
Tyson Foerster had nine multi-goal games in 2019-20 for the OHL's Barrie Colts.