clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2018 NHL Draft prospect profile: Liam Foudy can fly past opposing defences

New, comments

The London Knights centre is an excellent puck-carrier who just needs to be a bit more confident in his ability.

North Bay Battalion v London Knights Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Liam Foudy represented Canada very well this season at the U-18 World Championship, and was a key player for the London Knights in the OHL; an organization that has done a great job developing NHL talent in the past. After being given a bigger role in the latter half of the season, he showed that he should be considered a top prospect for the 2018 draft.

Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario
Date of birth: February 4, 2000
Shoots: Left
Position: Centre
Height: 6’1
Weight: 183 lbs.
Team: London Knights

Foudy recorded points in 26 of the 65 games he played with the Knights this season. What's interesting is that 20 of those games were after January, right around the time the Knights sold at the trade deadline and became a different team, relying on their youth to lead their rebuild.

Thirty-three of his 40 points were also scored in the 31 games after this restructuring, making him better than a point-per-game player for this stretch. He also had a big role in London's playoff push after both he and the team had been quite unremarkable in the first half of the season.

Image credit: EliteProspects

What fuels Foudy's game is his skating ability. He has a great acceleration and agility, but what is the most impressive is the speed he manages to pack. He can easily beat opposing defences by blowing past them on offensive zone entries, enabling him to attack the net or circle the zone looking for passing options.

Foudy's speed is very useful for the entire team. When he is zipping through the neutral zone, he creates a lot of space for everyone on the attack. He has to be respected by defenders who become hesitant to take an aggressive stance between blue lines against the fast-approaching winger in fear of getting out-skated. The fact that the forward also handles the puck quite well even in full flight helps him remain elusive.

His ability to be all over the ice in a second makes him a good defensive player, both a strong forechecker and backchecker, able to break-up plays and create quick counter attacks for his team. He is a constant threat to make odd-man rushes happen, and needs to be closely monitored by the opposition for this reason. And that, even on the penalty kill.

He also combines this skating ability and 200-foot game with a really good offensive weapon: his shot. His releases are quick and have a lot of power behind them, and he can snipe the puck if given a good look at the net.

That being said, this is a tool he still has to use more. His 2.08 shots per game over the season are simply not enough considering his potential scoring ability, and likely a ratio we see him improve come next season. He already put up a respectable 24 goals this season shooting 17.78%. This means that he could easily break the 30-goal barrier with more shot volume.

Foudy can be a good passer, even if his identity probably lies closer to that of a goal-scorer. He knows to look for teammates in high-danger areas after putting the attention of the defence on himself with his explosive zone entries, and shows patience to wait for passing lanes to open while circling the offensive zone.

Rankings

Future Considerations: #49
The Hockey News: #44
ISS Hockey: #35
McKeen’s: #25
NHL Central Scouting: #19 (NA Skaters)

Stats

A CHL advanced stats tracking by Mitch Brown of the Athletic as recently been made available. It allows for interesting comparison between prospects on a variety of aspects.

Shot assists: pass that result on a shot on goal; Scoring chances assists: pass to mid or high-danger areas that result on a shot on goal; Controlled Entry: carrying the puck or passing it across the offensive blue line. It can be successful or not; Controlled Exits: carrying the puck or passing it across the defensive blue line. It can be successful or not; Break Ups: stripping the attacker of possession in the neutral zone and starting the rush; Controlled Entry Against: how often a defender has the opposition attempt a controlled entry against him. A measure of the tightness of gap control through the Neutral Zone. Higher percentile means less controlled zone entries attempted or tighter gap control; Controlled Entry Prevention: how many of the controlled entry attempts against were prevented by a defender at the defensive blue-line; Corsi: shot attempt differential while at even strength play.
Mitch Brown's CHL comparison

Those games that were tracked past the OHL trade deadline give an idea of what kind of player Foudy is and what he has to work on. His elite controlled zone entry numbers reflect the best qualities in his game. He also seems to have upped his shooting volume in the latter half of the season and is a plus player when on the ice in terms of Corsi.

But he seems to not contribute very much on his team's breakout and tends to play too conservatively, dumping the puck out and losing possession for his team.

The comparison with Allan McShane, another winger who is ranked similarly to Foudy, is interesting. McShane is a much more efficient player at getting the puck out of his zone in a productive way for his team, but the rest of McShane's numbers don't match the offensive contribution that Foudy is capable of.

Thoughts

Liam Foudy showcases a lot of great things in his play, mainly his skating ability, and he is worthy of the likely second-round selection that will be used on him at the draft. Speed is the name of the NHL game now, and Foudy fits that criterion perfectly.

In the second half of the season, it felt like he was finally discovering how he could take advantage of this tool to make an impact every night. And he still has the potential to push his already great offensive zone entries even further by attacking the middle of the ice, giving himself more options for plays after crossing the offensive blue line. Consistently making defenders back-off, rather than sometimes going wide and being less dangerous from the periphery, will help him to reach his offensive potential.