VOORHEES, N.J. – While he finished last season with a bang, rookie right wing Tyson Foerster knows it’s a new year and a new challenge.
Foerster was called up from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for the final eight games with the Flyers and he opened some eyes with three goals/seven points in those contests.
As Flyers’ rookie camp got underway at the Flyers Training Center on Thursday, Foerster was asked about the upcoming season, his chances of making the team and continuing that scoring success.
He said his experience with the Phantoms helped out a lot.
“Just being able to do that (last year), the guys helped me so much,” the Flyers’ 2020 first-round pick (23rd overall) said after a workout. “Just going through the routine (on and off the ice) prepares you really well.
“Like when I came up here, I kind of knew what was going on. To make the Flyers, that’s everyone’s goal. That’s my goal. I think I’m going to make it.”
At 6-foot-2, 194 pounds, the 21-year-old Foerster would appear to be ready to handle the rigors of the NHL. But he knows there’s still a lot of work to be done.
So his offseason was spent working on speed and strength. The grind of an 82-game schedule is a lot more demanding than a late-season call-up when plenty of teams have nothing to really play for.
Some people are comparing Foerster’s situation to that of Flyers center Noah Cates, who finished the 2021-22 season strong and that catapulted him to an excellent campaign last year.
Cates might serve as an inspiration for Foerster.
“I’ve watched him off the ice, works his tail off,” Foerster observed. “Every single day he’s at the gym. . .when no one’s doing anything, he’s stretching or something. Just watching him can be good.”
Laperriere sees a bright future for his protégé, who overcame shoulder surgery two years ago to stand out with the Phantoms.
“He had the swagger all year,” Laperriere said. “He carried the load, especially offensively. When the Flyers called him up, he was a different player than he was two years ago.
“That’s great news. He’s managing the puck like a veteran out there. We all know he can shoot the puck, we all know he can make plays. But there’s more to that than this league. Tyson improved so much last year.”
The coach said he doesn’t expect to see Foerster back on his team this season. In other words, he’s likely to stay with the Flyers.
“He’s got his mind set,” Laperriere said. “He’s got that swagger that everybody loves. He’s probably going to be at that next level for awhile.”
Sticking around the Flyers Training Center in the summer scored points for Foerster throughout the team.
“He wanted to prove to the organization that he will do whatever it takes to make the team,” Laperriere said. “All credit to him, he stayed here all summer, training like an animal.
“He’s not a smooth skater, he’s not gliding around out there. But he’s a worker. He’ll never be a Travis Konecny but he works. I’m not worried about that at all.”
The coach believes Foerster can make an impact on the Flyers right from the outset.
“He wants to be here and never come back to me,” Laperriere said. “I don’t take that personal. I’ll be happy for him. There’s still a lot of work to do, he still has to go through camp.
“But you control what you can control. He stayed here this summer and did everything right. He can go to bed and say, ‘I did everything I can. I’m ready to go.’ It’s one thing to make the NHL, it’s another to stay here. But I’m not worried about Tyson. He’ll be here and I won’t see him again.”