Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2018 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here.
Liam Foudy started the season as a depth forward for the London Knights. The 17-year-old was stuck behind a number of more experienced forwards on the club. However, London decided to go with a full rebuild at the trade deadline, moving Robert Thomas, Cliff Pu, Sam Miletic, and Max Jones for prospects and picks. With four experienced forwards moved out of town, Foudy saw his ice time and responsibility increase. He excelled in his new role and moved up draft boards as a result. Overall Foudy finished with 24 goals and 16 assists for 40 points in 65 games. The majority of that coming in the second half of the season. Foudy put up a goal and an assist in four playoff games, but the rebuilding Knights were swept by Owen Sound.
Foudy has represented Canada on a couple of occasions. He was part of Team Canada White at the 2016-17 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, picking up three points in six games. He also played at the 2018 IIHF Under-18 World Championships, scoring two goals and two assists in five games.
Foudy’s father, Sean, played in the CFL, and his mother, France Gareau, was an Olympic sprinter. His brother, Jean-Luc, was a first-round pick of the Windsor Spitfires in the recent OHL Priority Selection.
Liam Foudy Scouting Report
Centre/Left Wing — shoots Left
Born February 4th 2000 — Scarborough, Ontario
Height 6’1″ — Weight 180 lbs [185 cm/82 kg]
Foudy is an elite skater, amongst the best in this draft class. He is incredibly fast, and reaches top speed quickly, with very good acceleration. Foudy’s ability to change speeds is a weapon in one-on-one situations. He can beat defenders to the outside and cut to the net. As they back off to defend him, it opens up passing and shooting lanes. Foudy also has excellent edge work and agility. He can change directions on a dime. His stride is powerful, and Foudy has good balance. He is strong on the puck and wins battles along the boards and in front of the net.
Foudy has a decent arsenal of shots. His wrist shot is good and has a decent release. It has improved this season and should continue to get better as he adds more upper body strength. His snapshot is also effective. Foudy scores most of his goals in tight to the net. He has the speed to generate breakaways, and the soft hands to beat goaltenders in that situation. He could stand to get to the net more without the puck though. While he is willing to take the puck to the net, he needs to be willing to get there without the puck and take the physical pounding to create offence.
Foudy is strong on the cycle as he protects the puck well, and has good balance. With good stickhandling, Foudy is willing to try to weave past a defender or make a quick move to open up a passing lane. Once a play is available he has the skill to make passes through tight areas.
Foudy has games where he is dominant. He can be dangerous on every shift, and look like the best player on the ice. He also has games where he is near invisible and does not create much. These seemed to be fewer in the latter half of the year. However, still could work on being more consistent game-in and game-out.
Foudy’s speed helps him in the defensive end. He can create turnovers and quickly transition to offence. He needs to work on being more physical though and supporting the defence down low on the backcheck. Foudy also needs to work on his faceoffs if he is going to play centre at the next level.
Projection and Comparison
Foudy has played both centre and wing, but his second-half explosion came after a move to left wing. If he can work on his faceoffs and defensive game, he has the offensive skills to be a top-six centre at the next level. Foudy also needs to improve his shot. He is a bit of a project, but the elite skating and strong puckhandling skills make him a risk worth taking. Next season will be huge for Foudy, as big things are expected out of him in London. His game is similar to Dylan Larkin but this is a stylistic comparison only, and not one based on talent or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the many highlight packages of Foudy that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Embed from Getty Images
OTTAWA, ON – MARCH 04: London Knights Forward Liam Foudy (18) skates with the puck during Ontario Hockey League action between the London Knights and Ottawa 67’s on March 4, 2018, at TD Place Arena in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)