Over the past few years, you probably would need an anatomy book to chart all the injuries to the Flyers’ list of young, up-and-coming players, from Morgan Frost to Wade Allison to Tanner Laczynski.
While they’ve all had their share of health woes, former first-round pick Tyson Foerster ranks right up with Allison for bad luck in the debilitation department.
Since he was drafted the first round in 2020, Foerster has suffered through a broken shin, a collarbone displacement and finally major shoulder surgery last November.
Foerster did make it back in time for the tail-end of last season and managed to get into a handful of games with the OHL Barrie Colts.
Now, feeling a hundred percent again, Foerster is taking part in the Flyers’ prospect development camp in Voorhees, N.J. and sounding confident he can once again get back on track for a job in the National Hockey League.
“I would say I’ve been (healthy) for the past four and a half months,’’ said Foerster, who underwent the shoulder surgery after falling awkwardly in a game against the Charlotte Checkers back on Nov. 6, 2021.
The injury occurred on kind of a freaky play. The Phantoms were on a five-on-three power play and looking to press the attack when Foerster hit the ice hard.
“I think I was diving for the puck, trying to keep it in and my elbow hit the ice before my body did,’’ he recalled during an interview on Monday at the Flyers Training Center. “It (the shoulder) just popped out and it hurt for a bit. I continued playing and then I was like ‘I don’t think somehing is right.’
“So I went and got it looked at and they said I would need surgery.’’
Foerster was sidelined until April 1. He played some games with his junior team, Barrie,and actually did well in the playoffs, recording six goals/11 points in 13 postseason games.
During his lengthy rehab Foerster worked on other parts of his game which didn’t require a lot of use of his shoulder.
“I’ve been here the whole summer,’’ Foerster said. “Just working out and training. Working on my legs, that’s what I really need to work on. Just getting stronger, that’s going to help my skating.’’
Foerster, selected 23rd overall in the ’20 draft, got off to a good start in 2021, recording 10 goals/17 points in 24 games. Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher was impressed with the right wing’s powerful shot and quick release.
He got into nine games with the Phantoms last season before the shoulder injury.
How has he managed to cope with this sort of adversity?
“For me, I think everything happens for a reason,’’ he said. “So I mean it sucked a lot, I wanted to be playing, I wanted to be with the guys every night, working out with them.
“But I knew there was a bigger picture. I had to work to get my shoulder healthy now so I can be ready to go in the future.’’
There’s still a possibility we will see Foerster in a Flyers uniform sometime this season.
“You’re always trying to come in here and make the big squad,’’ he said. “That’s what I will try and do.’’
Mike O’Connell, senior advisor to the GM/player development, has nothing but positive things to say about the 6-foot-2, 194-pound native of Alliston, Ontario, Canada.
“He has a pro body now, you can tell he’s gained some weight,’’ O’Connell said. “He looks stronger, he’s leaned out. In the last three or four months, I see a huge difference in his physique, the way he carries himself. He’s eating properly, his strength is very noticeable.’’
O’Connell also senses a positive attitude coming from the young player.
“He had a difficult history with injuries last year,’’ O’Connell said. “He’s obviously feeling pretty good about himself. Hopefully everything goes smoothly for him and he competes for a job here in Philadelphia. That’s the goal.’’
>DeAngelo officially signed
The Flyers announced they have signed defenseman Tony DeAngelo to a two-year contract worth an average annual value (AAV) of $5M, according to Fletcher.
DeAngelo, 26, was acquired by the Flyers, along with a seventh-round pick (220th overall – Alexis Gendron) in this year’s draft, from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for the Flyers fourth-round pick (101st overall) in 2022, third-round pick in 2023 (the lowest of the three picks) and a second-round pick in 2024.
This past season, 2021-22, he appeared in his first and only season with the Hurricanes and posted 10 goals/51 points in 64 regular season games. He led the Hurricanes defense in all three offensive categories – goals, assists and points – and ranked second on the team with a plus-minus rating of +30.
His 41 assists last season were new career high and he also established a new career-high of points per-game (.80) as well as average ice-time at nearly 20 minutes per-game (19:49).
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