Tyson Foerster – Calder Memorial Trophy
With the 2023 NHL Draft being such a big part of the Flyers’ future, we’ve spent a lot of time hearing about the Connor Bedards, Adam Fantillis, and Matvei Michkovs of the world. It seems like both Bedard and Fantilli will spend the 2023-24 season with their respective NHL clubs, which would make for a very interesting Calder race.
There will also be competition from players from other drafts, like 2021 fourth-overall pick Luke Hughes of the New Jersey Devils. Still, despite Bedard being the overwhelming favorite for this year’s award, only five first-overall picks have won the Calder since the year 2000. They are: Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Kane, Nathan MacKinnon, Aaron Ekblad, and Auston Matthews. That means that players like Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, Nico Hischier, and Steven Stamkos all missed out on the award.
Enter Tyson Foerster, who had an impressive first full season playing pro hockey. In 66 games with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the 21 year old had 20 goals and 28 assists. In a brief eight-game cameo with the Flyers, Foerster had seven points in eight games. Obviously, the winger will have a ton of competition for minutes with the return of Atkinson, the emergence of Owen Tippett, and Travis Konecny still remaining on the roster. There’s also players like Wade Allison, Garnet Hathaway, and Bobby Brink vying for spots too.
Foerster’s best asset is his shot, and because the Flyers had the worst power play in the NHL, he’ll have plenty of chances to use it. The Flyers will be a much deeper team than last year with Couturier returning and Morgan Frost expected to re-sign, meaning Foerster will have decent linemates to play with.
It would not be a shock at all to see the former Barrie Colts ace outscore Bedard, and if he plays good hockey at both ends of the ice with head coach John Tortorella breathing down his neck, Foerster stands a good chance of winning the Calder this year.