#12 Spencer Foo
Team: Calgary Flames/Stockton Heat (Previously Union College, NCAA)
Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent on July 1st, 2017
Spencer Foo was one of the most sought after NCAA free agents this year and after he reportedly narrowed down his choices to the Flames, Oilers, Red Wings and Golden Knights, he did the right thing and chose to sign with the Calgary Flames. The undrafted winger had an excellent final year in the NCAA, but can he find a way to jump right into the NHL?
Foo has taken a longer path to the professional ranks than most other prospects. He played an extra season in the AJHL, before playing 3 seasons in the NCAA. He is now 23 and is just about to start his first pro season, so he cannot be considered young in terms of a prospect, therefore he will have a limited runway to develop and attempt to make the jump to the NHL compared to some of his younger counterparts.
However, there is a lot of reason to be optimistic about Spencer Foo. He had a dominant past season in the NCAA. He posted 26 goals and 36 assists in just 38 games. That is incredibly productive. He is a skilled guy and if he makes it to the NHL, it is going to be in an offensive role.
There is going to be opportunity, whether it is this season or the next one. Foo could choose any team he wanted to and over half the league showed interest in him. He chose the Flames. Why? The Flames have a massive void on the right-wing. They have great depth at centre and on the left-wing, but the right-wing is a desolate wasteland. So desolate that they threw a bunch of money at Troy Brouwer in hopes that he would be a saviour, but he was nothing close to that. Even among the prospect pool, right-shot forwards with offensive talent are limited. Foo, Daniel Pribyl and Matthew Phillips are all they have and Phillips is a ways away.
Whether it be with Monahan and Gaudreau, or Sam Bennett, there is the need for offensively gifted right-shooting forwards. The powerplay is another place that could really use one. So if Foo is up to it, the chances will be there.
It is probably not reasonable to expect this to be the year he contributes in the NHL. I would never rule it out, but I think a safe bet is he at least starts the season in the AHL to get a feel for the professional game. Maybe he spends the whole season there. But, at some point, he should get a chance with the Flames. If he can seize it, that would be a huge coup for the organization.
Here is an excellent highlight package of Spencer Foo, by the good people at Edmonton Prospect Watch.... LOL.