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Tyson Foerster: 2020 NHL Draft Prospect Profile | A Big Winger with A Big Shot Who Broke Out in 2019-20

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Barrie Colts v Oshawa Generals Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images

Who is Tyson Foerster?

Tyson Foerster is a winger from Alliston, Ontario currently playing for the OHL’s Barrie Colts. Listed at 6’-1” and 195 pounds, Foerster has good size for a winger and his January 18, 2002 birthday puts him near the middle of his draft class in age. Foerster has climbed a lot of draft rankings this season as his production exploded in 2019-20, putting him near the top of the list in scoring for OHL draft eligibles. After a decent, but fairly unremarkable rookie season in the OHL in 2018-19 where he put up 10 goals and 23 points in 64 games, Foerster took a massive leap in his sophomore season. In 62 games before the season abruptly concluded, Foerster put up 36 goals and 80 points for Barrie and picked up the MVP in the CHL Top Prospects game along the way. His career stats from Elite Prospects are shown below.

Stats via Elite Prospects

Foerster’s claim to fame as a prospect is an excellent and versatile shot that allows him to score from all over the ice. Based on pretty much every profile out there on him, he has a blistering one-timer as well as an arsenal of other good shots that allow him to reliably score in a number of positions. Foerster performed pretty well all-around this season, but he stood out most on the power play, where he scored 18 of his 36 goals on the season. He can rip it from the dot like few players even at the NHL can, and it makes him a potentially lethal scoring threat at the next level. Most of the rest of Foerster’s game ranges from fine to pretty good, though, which is why he seems destined for the second round of the draft this year. He’s a solid playmaker and his work away from the puck seems decent, if not necessarily standout, as well. He is generally regarded as a very smart player overall. The main knock on his game is his skating which is somewhere between adequate and a liability depending on who you’re asking. It’s clear that the shot will be the thing to get him drafted where he does but it seems like there is some potential for more than just a sniper/power play threat.

Where is Tyson Foerster Ranked?

Foerster is a prospect where the consensus has converged (for the most part) and the rankings are relatively consistent. Aside from TSN’s Craig Button, who is an outlier putting Foerster at #15, everyone seems to be slotting Foerster into the upper half of the second round. This makes some sense, as he really only has one “wow” aspect of his game, but that one aspect, in conjunction with a decent enough all-around game, is enough to make him a decent bet as a prospect in the second round after all of the top guys are off the board.

#21 — NHL Central Scouting - NA Skaters (Final)

NR (Top 31) — McKeen’s Hockey (Midseason)

#39 — Future Considerations (March)

#39 — The Draft Analyst (March)

#40 — TSN-MacKenzie (Midseason)

#40 — EliteProspects.com (April)

#15 — TSN-Button (March)

NR (Top 31) — HockeyProspect.com (January)

NR (Top 31) — ISS Hockey (March)

What Others are Saying About Foerster

First we’ll go to Brock Otten and his super-informative OHL Prospects blog, where he cuts right to the chase on why Foerster is a solid prospect in his midseason top-50 write-up.

There are a couple things that really stand out with Foerster. The first is his cannon of a shot. He loves to set up at the dot near the half wall and like Ovechkin/Stamkos, he can unleash a powerful one timer or a quick snap shot that beats goaltenders clean. And he really moves well without the puck, jumping into gaps and anticipating the play very well. The puck seems to find him in the offensive zone and he doesn’t waste time getting the puck off his stick. The second thing is his play away from the puck. He is a very intelligent two-way player who gets his stick in passing lanes, wins battles along the boards, and is active on the forecheck forcing turnovers.

You’re going to hear a lot about Foerster’s shot from other sources, but I think this does a good job explaining how that shot is able to be effective. Instincts and pre-shot positioning are just as important as the actual act of shooting for scoring purposes, and it seems Foerster has both. And while his shot is the focal point of most analyses of his game, it’s good to see that those instincts extend to both sides of the puck. Otten does mention that his skating needs to improve, another theme that will be common in his profiles.

Next we’ll go to this profile from Last Word on Sports, where Ben Kerr has a good profile up on Foerster. He gets into the variety of shots that Foerster is adept at beyond just the big blast from the circle:

Foerster is a pure sniper. He has a tremendous arsenal of shots. He likes to get into the left circle on the power play, where he can wait for a teammate to set him up. Once the puck gets to him, he can unleash a tremendous one-timer. His wrist shot and release are also amongst the best in the draft. The shot is powerful and the release is lightning quick. He can pick corners with ease. Foerster also has a good snapshot and can score with his backhand as well. He has a knack for finding the soft spot in the defence when he does not have the puck.

Elsewhere in Foerster’s game, Kerr doesn’t point out any glaring holes, and mentions that he is a good playmaker and defender, though the high-end shooting ability is clearly the main attraction. His skating is again the one ding against him in Kerr’s profile, as he is capable enough on his skates and has strong edges but lacks a top gear that will allow him to separate as he advances to other levels.

Next, we go to Dobber Prospects where they again have a very similar take on Foerster’s game. Tony Ferrari writes in their blurb how Foerster is a major power play threat and makes the subtle adjustments with his shot to beat goalies.

One of the best powerplay threats in the draft, Foerster has a shot that would make him one of the high-end shooters in the NHL already. His shot is dangerous from anywhere in the offensive zone but he is particularly deadly when he is able to set up in the faceoff circle and fire away. He changes the angle of his shot with subtle stick work prior to the shot and he takes shots from unorthodox positions.

Ferrari isn’t as enamored with Foerster’s play away from the puck as, say, Otten, but he does mention that he is a solid playmaker.

At The Hockey Writers, they have an interesting comparison for that shot of Foerster’s:

The first thing that sticks out about Foerster is his cannon of a shot. It resembles a little bit of Alex Ovechkin when you watch him. He scored quite a few of his goals from the left circle. By the time the puck was in the net, the goalie barely moved. It’s lethal. He can unleash his shot from any area of the ice and there’s a chance it will go in.

I believe Stamkos is also mentioned in one of the earlier profiles. And while they are clearly not saying that Foerster is going to be anything close to Ovechkin or Stamkos, his ability to shoot from the circle is clearly top-notch.

Last, we’ll go to the Prospect Network, where I’ll highlight a brief point made by writer Ben Misfeldt about Foerster’s production. While Foerster clearly can fill the net, he does have a very solid 44 assists to go along with those goals, leading them to mention that he’s probably a little bit better at distributing than he’s given credit for.

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.

And once more, Misfeldt mentions that the skating does need work.

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.

Some aspects of Foerster’s game are in question and seem a bit debatable depending on who you ask, but it does seem like that shot is the real deal, if all of the words written on him are to be believed.

A Little Video

Here’s a highlight of some of Foerster’s goals from this season and, yeah, the shot does seem to be the real deal.

An Opinion of Sorts

For the Devils, at least the way things currently stand, Foerster is an unlikely player for them to draft without some pre-draft or draft-day trades. He is a prospect that I generally like, though. If the Devils find themselves selecting in the early second round, I think he would be a very strong selection there. His shot is a uniquely high-level attribute for a player going in the second round and with him reportedly being a smart player, it seems like he has the ability to make up for some shortcomings with his skating. As far as a ceiling, I don’t think he projects as a guy who is going to power a top-six line in the NHL but he could be a great role player and, on the right center’s wing, a guy who can fill the net and make a major impact.

Your Take

What do you think of Tyson Foerster? Is he a player you’d like to see the Devils take if they find themselves in the second round? Would you consider reaching on him somewhere in the first for that shot? Are you worried about the knocks on his skating or him being too one-dimensional? Sound off with your thoughts below and thanks for reading.