Among NHL reserve lists, there are plenty of teams that own exclusive rights to players who have never suited up for them. Unsigned draft picks are the most common types of these but in most cases, those rights expire eventually – usually two or four years after they are drafted.
Some others though are maintained indefinitely, as they play in a league without a current transfer agreement. That’s the case for Parker Foo, whose rights are still owned by the Chicago Blackhawks, despite being drafted more than five years ago.
Selected 144th overall in 2017, Foo was a junior teammate of Cale Makar with the Brooks Bandits of the AJHL. He then went to the NCAA to play for Union College, before leaving for the KHL in 2020.
That move, which took him to join Kunlun Red Star, helped him qualify for the 2022 Olympics for China. The country used that KHL team as their entry in the Games, which they hosted earlier this year. Foo also played for China at the World Championship, though they competed in the lower division tournament.
Now, the 23-year-old has re-signed with Kunlun, meaning any potential return to North American hockey will have to wait. Foo’s rights, meanwhile, will stay with Chicago indefinitely while he plays in the KHL.
Interestingly enough his brother, Spencer Foo, was also part of Kunlun the last few years and on that Olympic squad but he signed a contract with the Vegas Golden Knights last month. In an ironic twist, Spencer went undrafted in his youth and is now on his second NHL contract (playing four games with the Flames a few years ago), while fifth-round pick Parker has never signed.