Tyson Foerster got a sweet taste at the end of last season with the Philadelphia Flyers. And he made the most of it.
Foerster had a successful season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and got the call in March to join the big club.
“When I got the call, I was super excited,” Foerster said at Flyers Development Camp in Voorhees on Sunday.
“My whole family got to come down for my first game. I was pretty nervous. But it was exciting and it was a dream come true.”
The 21-year-old right wing from Alliston, Ontario, played eight games with the Philadelphia Flyers last season. He was impressive. He scored three goals and four assists and was a plus-2.
Foerster thought he impressed the Flyers’ coaches and front office in his brief call-up.
“Yeah, I think for sure,” Foerster said. “Not even just the points.
“I think I was playing pretty well in the d-zone, blocking shots and doing all the little things right. So I think I did pretty good.
“It’s not easy out there, that’s for sure. Everyone’s sick players and that’s why they’re there. Like I said, it was fun.”
Flyers coach John Tortorella was impressed with Foerster’s debut. “He played very well,” Tortorella said after the game.
“I thought he was one of the better players with the puck, and with poise with the puck. So his first game, against a top team like this, it’s encouraging.”
Foerster led the Phantoms in scoring with 48 points in 66 games. He had 20 goals and 28 assists. He earned a spot in the AHL All-Star Game. It was a strong comeback season from 2021-22, when he was limited to 22 games as he returned from shoulder surgery.
Foerster earned a higher honor after the season. He was one of six players named to the AHL’s Top Prospects Team.
Foerster’s career so far could lead the Flyers to think he has a bright future in Philadelphia, a potentially top-six forward someday. He was the Flyers’ first-round pick in 2020, 23rd overall. Foerster has an opportunity as the rebuilding Flyers have job openings for young, talented hockey players.
“I don’t think I can expect a [roster] spot,” said Foerster, who changed his uniform number from 52 to 18. “I feel like I still have to work. Work my tail off and try to earn myself a spot on this team.
“Everyone here is looking for a spot on the team. You come into camp every year and everyone tries to make the team, everyone pushes each other and it’s great competition.”
Foerster said he’s been in the area for about a month, training and getting ready for training camp in September. He said he plans to remain in the area through the summer.
“I’m here [at Development Camp] … to lead guys, to show them what’s up and be the hardest-working guy on the ice,” Foerster said.
“Every summer it’s all about everything, really. This summer I’ve been here for a month. [I’m working on] just my legs and my leg strength and my quick steps. I feel like I’m getting better at that. I feel like everything is improving.”
About future teammate Matvei Michkov, the Flyers’ first-round draft pick last week, Foerster said: “Obviously he’s amazing player. Some of them are saying that he was right up there with [Connor] Bedard. So it’s great to have him here. We’re looking forward to when he comes.”
For now, Foerster knows he took the first step last season. He got his feet wet in the NHL and played well. Foerster and the Flyers both want the same thing — No. 18 in the opening night lineup.
But Foerster knows not much is given in professional sports.
“They said have a big summer, come back and you gotta earn a spot, like everyone else,” Foerster said.