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Flyers’ Development Camp: Healthy Tyson Foerster Ready to Roll

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Tyson Foerster, Philadelphia Flyers

When healthy, right winger Tyson Foerster has the look of a future 25-to-30-goal scorer.

Big body. Booming shot. Great instincts.

Now if he can only stay on the ice.

Foerster, 20, has had his share of tough luck since being selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2020 draft.

The Ontario native has suffered a fractured shin, a separated collarbone, and a banged-up shoulder that required surgery last November, interrupting his AHL season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Foerster, one of 35 players who took part in Day 1 of the Flyers’ development camp Monday in Voorhees, says he is now 100 percent healthy.

Improved skating

“I’ve been here the whole summer,” said the sturdy 6-foot-2, 194-pound Foerster, adding he spent lots of time working on his skating until his shoulder healed and he was able to resume  stickhandling and shooting.  “Just working out and training. Working on my legs; that’s what I really need to work on. Getting those stronger will help my skating.”

Foerster returned from shoulder surgery April 1 and had six goals in 13 post-season games for his junior team, Barrie, in the Ontario Hockey League.

Mike O’Connell, the Flyers’ senior advisor to the GM/player development, said Foerster has improved dramatically, saying he looks “totally different. It’s a pro body now. You can tell he’s gained some weight. He looks stronger; he’s leaned out for me. He was never heavy, but you look at a player over the last three or four months and I see a huge difference in his physique and the way he carries himself.”

In 2020-21, Foerster scored 10 goals in 24 games for the Phantoms. The numbers were impressive, but the AHL wasn’t as strong as usual because many of its players had been sent to their NHL affiliates that were hit  by COVID.

‘Everything happens for a reason’

Foerster’s shoulder setback is behind him. He said “everything happens for a reason. 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 get my shoulder healthy now so I can be ready to go in the future.”

That future figures to include time with the Phantoms at the start of this season, and perhaps a recall to the Philadelphia Flyers in the near future. Maybe even this season.

“He had a difficult year with injuries, and he’s obviously feeling good about himself (now),” O’Connell said. “Hopefully, everything goes smoothly for him and he competes for a job here in Philadelphia. That’s the goal. … He’s suffered some injuries, but let’s hope he’s on the right path, that he continues to build strength and confidence, so he’s on the ice here next year in Philadelphia.”

Qualifying offers

The Flyers extended qualifying offers, which are not open to acceptance until Wednesday, to RFA forwards Wade Allison, Jackson Cates, Morgan Frost, Hayden Hodgson,  Tanner Laczysnki, Zack MacEwen, Isaac Ratcliffe, and Owen Tippett, along with RFA defenseman Linus Hogberg..

They did not qualify forwards Matt Strome and Maksim Sushko (who will play in Russia’s KHL), or goalie Kirill Ustimenko.

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R M

Flyers have to get some serious muscle on their prospects if they want to keep their injury risk at a minimum. Muscle to accept getting hit without a trip to the hospital, muscle to do the hitting without hurting themselves. Too many Flyers kids lack muscle mass for the rigors of pro Hockey. This is pro football on skates, so they better be thick muscled to handle the violence. Time to get a strength coach who knows what he is doing. Get the kids in the weight room.

JT Puck

Wait a minute… there actually is someone healthy in training camp? How is that possible? Another Flyer with ‘tough luck’…we draft a lot of them.

For the Very Easily Offended, the preceding was an attempt at satire.

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