Eight games is not much of a sample size in the NHL. But for eight games in the Flyers 2022-23 season, Tyson Foerster made quite the impression.

The 2020 first-round pick scored three goals and added four assists for seven points in the eight games, all over his final five games. 

Through rookie camp, Foerster is getting a lot of attention. The small taste of the NHL has both the player and organization looking for the next step in development. There is a strong chance that Foerster could make the NHL roster out of camp. Just ask Lehigh Valley Phantoms head coach Ian Laperriere.

“He had the swagger all year. When the Flyers called him up, he was a different player than we saw two years ago,” Laperriere said. “He was managing the puck like a veteran. We all know he can shoot the puck, we all know he can make plays, but there’s more to that in this league. A lot of guys can shoot the puck, they can score, but they can’t play in this league because there’s other things around that. Tyson improved so much last year in that. 

“I know a lot of things can happen, but I’m not expecting him back in the valley. He’s got his mindset. He’s confident. He’s got that swagger. He’s probably going to be at the next level and be there for a while.”

“I think everybody’s goal that’s here is to make the Flyers,” Foerster said. “I think I’m ready.”

Laperriere got to see that up close last season, as the forward tallied 20 goals and added 28 assists for 48 points in 66 AHL games. He also had two goals and three points in three playoff games for the Phantoms.  

Foerster’s path to the NHL was certainly uncommon. After being drafted following the bubble playoffs in 2020, Foerster immediately went into the professional ranks as junior hockey remained shut down due to COVID. He played 24 games for the Phantoms at age 18, scoring 10 goals and 17 points in 24 games in a season that was derailed by a pair of injuries to his shin and shoulder.

He split the 2021-22 season between the Phantoms and Barrie Colts in the OHL, again dealing with an injury that limited his playing time.

That really made the 2022-23 season Foerster’s first full professional season, and he certainly made the most of it in getting an NHL promotion for the final few weeks of the season.

That said, there is still the final step of making that permanent jump. Upon entering rookie camp, Foerster had taken all the proper steps. He stayed in the area to train during the summer. He added muscle. In drills, he clearly looked the part. However, the rookie games over the weekend left something to be desired for the road ahead.

“I think we have a lot more to offer than what we showed,” Foerster said. “Give credit to the Rangers, they were shutting us down pretty good, but I think we have more and I think we’re going to show it.”

“Scoresheet is one thing, but you want them to create something,” Laperriere said. “They might not score or get an assist, but at least do something offensively. I didn’t see that in the first two preseason games.

“Hopefully it’s a wake-up call. They want to make the big team, but they have to do a little bit more and hopefully they will learn from those two games and be better.”

The final two days of rookie camp are here and Foerster will continue to put in the work with the rest of the rookie roster. Then it’s on to main camp and back to work trying to prove he belongs on the roster to John Tortorella and the Flyers coaching staff.

Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN. Follow him on social media @Kevin_Durso.

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