Tyson Foerster has garnered some attention with his high-flying draft season. Relatively unheard of before the season, he has burst onto the scene and into the discussion as a 1st round pick.
Owning one of the best shots in the draft and a slick set of mitts, Foerster has some tantalizing tools in his arsenal that NHL teams are going to love.
In my January rankings, he was ranked at number 23, higher than most draft pundits, but is a position I feel very comfortable with. Foerster is one of my favourite players in the draft. I love when players get on the scoresheet using their shot and hockey IQ. Foerster may be lacking in other areas, but he utilizes those two things to the best of his abilites.
Barrie Colts, OHL
6’1 – 194
*Now has 57GP-32G-42A-74P after today’s (Feb 29th) game vs. Ottawa
Foerster has scored an impressive number of points in the OHL this season, and signifcantly more than in his 16 year old season. I’m usually skeptical when a player has such a massive increase in production, but with Foerster it makes sense. He really has improved leaps and bounds and now plays a much more prominent role with the Barrie Colts than he did in 2018-19.
Based on his skills, it’s very suprising that Foerster has 10 more assists than goals. I think this is maybe a sign his hockey sense is higher than most (including myself) give him credit for. I found the same thing with Arthur Kaliyev; he got stereotyped as a one-dimensional goal scorer but ended up with the same number of assists as goals, showing he can make plays and not just finish them.
Foerster’s P/GP is 1.30, the 4th highest of OHL draft eligibles and the 26th highest in the entire OHL.
So far this season, Foerster has 205 shots on goal, the 18th most of anyone in the OHL. His shooting percentage of 15.6% is very reasonable for a player with that good of a shot and that means he is not getting lucky shooting-wise this season. This can be a huge reason why some prospects get overrated in their draft year, but Foerster won’t be one of them. The number of shots he is generating and is sh% are both very positive indicators that Foerster is putting up legit production.
Even strength points are important to analyze for prospects, as lots of players can boost their totals through PP points, which are less predictable and more volatile than even strength points. Foerster has 41 ES points and 31 PP points this season. His even strength production is a little underwhelming compared to his overall totals and could be an area to focus on going forward. Still, 41 ES points in 57 GP is quite good, maybe just not quite as good as some of his peers putting up the same number of overall points.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Foerster’s 2019-20 production is the fact that he is far and away the leading scorer on the Colts. Foerster has 30 more points than any other Barrie Colt this season, and he has continued scoring even as Barrie traded away almost their entire team. This is greats sign for a draft eligible prospect, especially a goal-scoring one. He’s not just riding shotgun with top players, he is driving the scoring himself.
Hockey sense: B
Puck Control: B
The first thing that comes to mind about Foerster is that he is not player who bases his game around skating. Where he succeeds is making plays at a slow pace. He can possess the puck, make good passes and score goals all from a standstill, making him an incredible threat on the powerplay.
Foerster’s skating is a weakness overall. His stride is not very powerful, and he doesn’t reach a good top speed. The only positive about his skating is that he is strong on his skates, so he at least does not get pushed off the puck too easy. Skating issues will definitely be the reason Foerster falls a little lower than he should in the draft. With that being said, his skating has not been detrimental to his game up to this point, as he has clearly found other ways to impact the game.
Foerster is average height at 6’1” and has a lot of room to add strength. He’s already strong on his skates, a good sign for his development of strength and skating. He’s not overly strong, but he holds his own and more at the OHL level.
Far and away the best part of Foerster’s game is his NHL-caliber shot, which he has used to decimate goalies in the OHL this year. His release is quick, he knows when to shoot, and he can use his shot in a variety of ways—taking one-timers, shooting from the outside, drag and shoot, rebounds, etc. The way he shoots the puck, he is going to be instant threat in the shooting position on an NHL PP. Arguably the most impressive aspect of his scoring ability is his ability to shoot and score in pretty much everyway, from pretty much anywhere. Here’s one of many highlight reel snipes he has scored this season:
— Rink Rat Report (@RinkRatReport) January 17, 2020
Foerster’s hockey sense is well above average for a draft prospect. He consistently makes pro-style plays with the puck and finds teammates with accurate passes. He knows when to shoot and when to pass. His high hockey sense also allows him to find the soft spots in the opposing teams defense—one of the reasons he’s such a prolific goal scorer. This will go a long way in translating his goal scoring ability to the NHL level. Here’s an example of his ability to make quick, effective passes:
— Brandon Holmes (@BHolmes_Hockey) January 17, 2020
Foerster’s puck control is above average—he’s able to shield the puck and keep it away from the other team. For a weak skater like Foerster, this is an important skill to have. Poor skaters often have a disadvantage in creating time and space for themselves but having excellent puck control will mitigate that.
His hands are A level and allow him to fool defenders and goalies alike. Using his smooth hands, Foerster is able to get through defenders and work his way to the net. I’ve seen Foerster walk around a lot of OHL d-men this year just by using his hands and puck control and not with quick skating like most players do. He can make you like silly if you aren’t careful. Here’s an example of his slick hands below:
Tyson Foerster 🐎
— Shootout Ideas (@ShootoutIdeas) January 11, 2020
For defense and effort, Foerster is above average for a winger. He has a tough time keeping up sometimes due to his skating, but he works hard to help his team in the defensive zone. He gets back when he can and is a committed player all over the ice. He isn’t anything exceptional, but he is far from lazy.
Development, Outlook, and Projection
Foerster has improved leaps and bounds since last season, namely in his goal-scoring ability. He also has plenty of room to add strength and room to work on certain skills. This is a good sign for his outlook as it shows he is at healthy point in his development curve. Foerster already possesses an NHL skill with his shot. This goes a long way in projecting his development and NHL transition. Having scoring ability from the outside is a great way to work yourself into the NHL sooner rather than later. If Foerster develops along his curve, it’s expected he will be a strong 2nd line winger who plays on the powerplay and relies on his shot to score a lot of goals. On the upper end of his projection, I don’t think it’s impossible that Foerster could score 40 goals in the NHL one day. This could happen if he improves his skating to the point of it becoming a strength. On the lower end of his projection, Foerster simply doesn’t progress as expected and becomes a fringe-NHLer.
Tyson Foerster is currently ranked around 25-50 on most lists. I believe if he goes in the 2nd round, a team will have gotten great value with that pick. He’s not a perfect player but he is trending up and already has one NHL-level skill with his shot. Over the season, Foerster has become one of my favourite prospects in the draft—I love players who can score NHL-style goals and also make smart decisions with the puck.
Lastly, here is a video of some Foerster snipes from this season:
Barrie Colts superstar Tyson Foerster is currently riding a nine-game point streak (8 goals and 7 assists). Foerster now has 62 points in 46 games. The #NHLDraft eligible prospect has plenty of tools in his arsenal, but his biggest strength is his lethal shot. @tfoerster8 #OHL pic.twitter.com/xb98QAdkHe
— Ryan McArthur (@ryanpmcarthur) February 2, 2020
Thanks for reading!