The Columbus Blue Jackets series with the Tampa Bay Lightning is underway after Tuesday’s monster game. The Jackets are in the first round of the playoffs after knocking off the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, Game One against Tampa didn’t go how they wanted. Throughout all six games so far, there has been one player that has really stood out. That player is Liam Foudy. The left-winger is just 20-years-old but is already starting to make an impact.
Liam Foudy Shining for Jackets
Foudy was by no means a lock for the Blue Jackets when it came to the summer camp for these playoffs. The Blue Jackets have had injuries all year and because of that, have had multiple players step up in big ways. The competition was fierce for a roster spot but due to a strong camp, Foudy showed he belonged.
He played just two games for the Jackets in the NHL this season and managed to register one assist in those games. Liam Foudy was the Jackets first-round draft pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Taken 18th overall, the Jackets have had high-hopes ever since. He spent his entire junior hockey career with the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League. In his draft year, he started “as a depth forward for the London Knights. The 17-year-old was stuck behind a number of more experienced forwards on the club.”
From there, he became one of the Knights integral forwards. Growing each year that he played. This season, he had 28 goals and 40 assists for 68 points in just 45 games with London. His jump from the OHL to the NHL has been almost flawless, as he has looked like one of the best Jackets forwards.
This is all a small sample size so far, so it’s important to keep reasonable expectations in mind. However, Foudy’s advanced numbers have been strong compared to other Blue Jacket forwards. In the six games he has played, he has a 48.55CF% and a 47.66xGF%. Now, those numbers don’t usually scream promising. Generally speaking, you want to be above 50 in both of those. But the Jackets defensive system usually means their numbers are more skewed. They’ll sit back more in their end to take advantage of a break when they can.
When you compare it to the other Jacket forwards, Foudy ranks fifth and second in the categories respectively. Ranking second in xGF% is extremely impressive as it means that he is controlling quality better than others while he is on the ice. While he is yet to add an assist and has just one goal, Foudy has also created 3.26 xG at 5v5. Meaning he has simply been unlucky at times so far this season.
If he continues to use his body and grind down the opposition, those goals will come. He also may get some puck luck with teammates finishing off chances that he creates. With that in mind, there is good reason to take a look at the Jackets’ series odds offered by the sportsbooks listed at USAbetting. They may be the underdogs, but with players like Foudy who never seem to quit on a play, they could make some money.
Foudy is a player that will not only be key to the Jackets this season but likely for seasons to come as well. His work ethic and attitude make him a force to be reckoned with. Going forward, if he becomes a solid two-way player that can either kill penalties or be a force on the powerplay, that would be huge. There’s honestly no reason he can’t do both as well.
In Junior, he showed his offensive abilities as we touched on earlier in the article. His playmaking abilities are strong and his ability to get in the right place means he’s in a good position to score points.
His defensive ability has the potential to be very effective as well. With how quick of a skater Foudy is, it allows him to recover and get into the right place for both ends of the ice. Keep your eye on him as this series goes on.