One of the biggest college free agent prizes has decided on his NHL destination, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Union forward Spencer Foo will sign with the Calgary Flames. The 6’0″, 180 pound right winger scored 26 goals and added 36 assists in his Junior season with the Union Dutchmen. He was known in NCAA circles for being the motor behind the highest scoring line in college hockey, alongside Mike Vecchione, who ended up in Philadelphia.
Foo was previously linked to other teams, most seriously those same Flyers. However, Foo decided to change course, as he and his agent were pursued by other teams with more glaring holes at the winger position. Although details are scarce as to the rationale, one has to imagine that he was looking to have a serious opportunity on the right side. Calgary is weak on the right side, and only two players are under contract that naturally slot there: Troy Brouwer and Michael Frolik. The Flyers, by comparison, have multiple flexible core players who can slot on that side, including mainstays Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, and Jakub Voracek, with Matt Read and Dale Weise also getting looks. In Calgary, he is almost certain to have a crack at the top-9 on the roster, with the ability to play with creative talents Johnny Gaudreau and Sam Bennett.
Foo is tough for his size and has good skating ability. He has been lauded for his exceptional work ethic and conditioning, which at 23 will provide a decent opportunity to smoothly transition. The odds are against him to make an immediate offensive impact, as many college signings still take time to develop. For the re-building Flames, however, the signing is a perfect fit. Foo will be allowed to blossom alongside the young core that is already present, without worrying too heavily about internal competition for ice time on the wing.
Terms will not be revealed until that July 1st date, when the Unrestricted Free Agency signing period starts. Flames Nation’s Ryan Pike expects the deal to be a two-year entry level contract, at somewhere near the maximum $925,000 per year.