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Jim Jackson Said It Best: Tyson Foerster is Red-Hot

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

Philadelphia Flyers rookie Tyson Foerster was mired in an offensive slump to start the season that had many wondering why John Tortorella kept utilizing him in a top-6 role or why he was in the lineup in lieu of players like Bobby Brink. Foerster was as snakebitten as they came but he was by far one of the most – if not the most – responsible forwards in the lineup on a nightly basis. His analytical numbers essentially projected that at some point the floodgates would open and fortunately for the rookie, the Flyers, and their fans, it has come at the right time.

With Cam Atkinson mired in an 11-game point drought before being made a healthy scratch against Tampa Bay,  Joel Farabee being without a goal in 13 games, Sean Couturier struggling with just 2 goals in his last 25 games, and Travis Konecny on the mend with an upper-body injury, someone had to step up to the plate.

There was a lot of hype surrounding the former first round pick from the 2020 NHL Entry Draft after his electrifying stint with the Flyers last season. In his first taste at the NHL level, Foerster scored 3 goals and 7 points in 8 games, was a plus-2, had registered 15 shots on goal, and averaged 16:34 TOI while chipping in with 12 hits and 10 blocked shots.

After going without a point in his first 3 games and posting a minus-3 rating, Foerster had himself a 5-game streak with 7 points and a plus-5 rating. It didn’t take long for him to make his presence known and while he was sent back to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for their playoff push – where he finished 1st on the team in points – it was all but etched in stone that he would more than likely make the Flyers out of training camp in 2023-24.

The COVID-interrupted season of 2019-20 cut his draft season short with the Barrie Colts of the OHL, but not before he scored 36 goals and 80 points in 62 games. He entered the draft as the 21st-ranked North American skater and with the Flyers selecting 23rd overall, they took a chance on the youngster primarily because of his lethal shot and one-timer. He made his impact known for the Phantoms in short order and in parts of three seasons from 2020-21 to 2022-23, Foerster tallied 32 goals and 68 points in 99 games, including 20 goals and 48 points last season.

The stage was set for the then-21-year-old to take the NHL by storm with a full training camp and preseason up his sleeve. He made the club outright out of training camp alongside Brink and the sky was the limit, or so we thought. Through the first 20 games of the 2023-24 season, Foerster scored just one goal and 4 points while averaging 16:13 TOI. He would improve to the tune of 5 goals and 13 points in his next 21 games with his ice-time rising to 17:44 ATOI.

After going with just 1 goal in his next 7 games, Foerster chipped in with 3 more tallies before succumbing to a lower-body injury. Upon his return and with the Flyers needing offense, the now-22-year-old has added 4 goals and 1 assist in his last 3 games, including the go-ahead marker to start the third period against Tampa Bay, giving him 7 goals in his last 7 games. Overall, he’s up to 14 goals and 26 points in 55 games, is a plus-4, has a team-high 4 power play goals, and is averaging 17:01 TOI for the season.

What has been even more impressive than his current hot streak is his two-way game. His responsible nature on and off the puck has been a marvel all season as he sits with an overall CF% of 59.3, CF% rel of 11.4, FF% of 60.7, FF% rel of 10.6, and PDO of 99.3. He also has a fantastic 25:6 takeaway to giveaway ratio and has 40 blocked shots to 62 hits. While at even-strength, he’s 3rd on the team in CF%, CF% rel, FF%, and FF% rel, 5th in takeaways behind Konecny, Couturier, Sean Walker, and Travis Sanheim, and on a sidenote he has seen the third most power play minutes per game at 2:36 – also behind Konecny and Couturier.

Foerster’s overall analytical numbers were well above average last season as well, but he’s taken an extra step this year with a much larger sample size. Foerster is finally combining his offensive abilities with his two-way game and is becoming a force to be reckoned with under Tortorella’s system. Look for the youngster to end his rookie season on a high note as the Flyers only have 22 games remaining on the docket with playoffs on the mind.

Flyers fan born in the heart of Leafs nation

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