“I think it would be huge,” Tyson Foerster could return to the AHL this season

(Courtesy: Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)
(Courtesy: Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers) /

Tyson Foerster was in a unique situation the summer after he was drafted by the Flyers. With a junior season that would end up not happening, he was able to play in the AHL with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. And he may have the chance to do so again this upcoming year.

Foerster was taken by Philadelphia with the 23rd overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. His shoot-first mentality is something the Flyers are in desperate need of. He sees the game well and took an extremely large leap forward coming into the draft.

He led the Barrie Colts in goals (36), assists (44), and points (80) in his second, and potentially final season in the OHL. While he is certainly known as a shooter, he has an underrated passing ability as well. The combination allows him to not only find his teammates in open opportunities, but it allows him to be a duel-threat whenever he has the puck.

One of the things he was tasked with improving upon before he even made it to the AHL was his skating. But it is something he felt he has improved on and will look to show that to the team during development camp.

When he ended up playing in the AHL with the Phantoms, he showed off some of the traits that he had been touted for. In 24 games, he posted 10 goals and 17 points overall. It was a tough beginning, though, as he went down in the opening game of the season, an injury that sidelined him for six weeks. He had to wear a knee brace and it took him a while to get back into shape.

But once he got a few games under his belt, Foerster did feel himself begin to get into a groove. The time in the AHL was extremely huge as it allowed him to play against stronger players than he would have in the OHL. It also proved that he was able to handle himself in those opportunities. The biggest change for him moving up to the professional league was getting used to battling against other players that were all at similar skill levels.

With a potential agreement between the CHL and NHL on the horizon, Foerster could return to the league this upcoming season. The agreement states that any player who played more than 20 games in the AHL will be able to forgo juniors and continue a professional career. The previous agreement between the two sides would normally force players to go back if they have yet to reach 20 years of age. That would’ve included Foerster who turned 19-years-old in January.

"“I think it would be huge for me to be able to go back there. But I think that’s really out of my control. So I’m just going to try to prove myself at camp.”"

It is currently unknown if that agreement has come to fruition or not. But Foerster would cherish the opportunity to return to the Phantoms if at all possible. It won’t be up to just him, though. The Flyers will certainly take his development into account and what he proves during the next few days.

But he did prove he can handle himself at the AHL level this past season. Learning from veterans such as Cal O’Reilly helped him during his time with the Phantoms. And despite a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the Summer Showcase with Team Canada, Foerster is back at full strength and looking forward to what lies ahead.