VOORHEES, N.J. — Tyson Foerster got a taste of life in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers late last season. Now he’s ready for a larger meal.
“I think that’s everybody’s goal that’s here, is to make the Flyers, and that’s for sure my goal,” the 21-year-old forward prospect said when rookie camp opened Thursday. “I think I’m ready.”
Ian Laperriere, who coached Foerster last season with Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League, agrees.
“I’m not expecting him back in the [AHL],” he said. “You never know, but he’s got his mind set. I feel like you walk around him, he’s confident. He’s got that swagger about him that I love, that everybody loves. He’s probably going to be at the next level and be there for a while.”
Foerster led Lehigh Valley with 48 points (20 goals, 28 assists) in 66 games last season. He got his first NHL opportunity when the Flyers recalled him March 9, and he had seven points (three goals, four assists) in eight games before being returned to the AHL.
What stood out to Laperriere more than the offensive production was how Foerster has become a well-rounded player.
“He was managing the puck like a veteran out there,” Laperriere said. “We all know he can shoot the puck, we all know he can make hockey plays. But there’s more to that in [the NHL]. A lot of guys can shoot the puck and they can score, but they can’t play in this league because there’s other things around that. And Tyson improved so much last year in that.”
One of those areas is skating, which has been perceived to be an issue since before the Flyers selected him in the first round (No. 23) of the 2020 NHL Draft. Foerster, though, believes he’s put those issues to rest.
“I think I proved myself a bit last year, and I don’t think my skating’s bad at all,” he said. “I think I’m a pretty good skater now and I want to show that.”