Flyers sign first-round pick Tyson Foerster to three-year deal

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Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Flyers announced on Wednesday afternoon that they signed their first-round draft pick, Tyson Foerster, to a three-year entry-level contract.

Foerster was taken with the 23rd pick of last week’s draft out of the Ontario Hockey League, where he played with the Barrie Colts as a right-winger.

The 18-year-old took major steps forward in his development, showing semblances of developing into an all-around mid-line winger in Barrie. In 62 games last season, he posted 36 goals and 44 assists for 80 points.

That included two separate 13-game point streaks while his second-closest teammate on Barrie’s scoring list was 33 points behind.

He shot up draft boards thanks to his powerful shot where his offensive success immediately draws comparisons to the bread-and-butter of Washington Capitals legend Alexander Ovechkin — whose supposed “office” is by the left face-off circle to rip one-timers through goaltenders.

From Elite Prospects, on Foerster:

“He’s most comfortable setting up shop at the top of the left face-off circle, taking cross-ice feeds, and one-timing them on net with power. He sets up his feeds really well, scanning the ice for where his target will be, looking on the pass and threatening to shoot. He’s got one of the best shots in the draft, can see the ice well, and possesses plus-defensive instincts.”

At 6-foot-2, 194 lbs., Foerster’s size brings added physicality while he is on the puck, making him a tough customer for defensemen to create separation. And those two-way instincts that he possesses will bring an added maturity to the youngster’s game, making the NHL an option in the very near future for him.

“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,” Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher said. “I think the good thing about Tyson was very good with self-awareness, of his strengths and the areas that he needs to improve. He’s worked very hard on those areas during the pause. We expect he’ll continue to develop into a pretty good player.”

Foerster’s playmaking abilities don’t trail far behind his booming shot as he carries plus vision, however, his off-puck positioning and instincts do need to improve as well as his skating.

Those aspects, however, can be worked on for a player who already brings the raw intangibles of a promising scorer.

Here’s what others had to say about him:

  • “He’s physical with his size. His offensive hockey, specifically he shoots the puck, certainly made him attractive when we were picking,” Flyers VP and assistant GM Brent Flahr said. “I feel he has tremendous upside.”
  • “First off, we’re real happy to add that offensive dimension to the team,” Flyers scout Rick Pracey said. “Excellent hockey sense. His offensive ability. His blue lining game is very attractive to us. He has size. He can shoot the puck. He can really make plays for a big guy.”
  • “Plays the game in all areas and all situations. He plays with skill, smarts and is very competitive,” TSN draft analyst Craig Button said. “He has progressed significantly in two seasons and as he becomes more mature, he will only get better.”
  • “A gifted offensive player who displays excellent vision and playmaking ability. High hockey IQ. Excellent puck protection ability,” NHL Central Scouting wrote. “Has a lethal shot with a quick release and the ability to score from multiple angles.”

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