Way, way back in the 1990s, a young man by the name of Spencer Foo grew up in Edmonton with dreams of National Hockey League stardom. He went to college, but never let his NHL dreams leave him. When he made the decision to leave school and turn pro, he faced a choice: an uncertain path to the NHL with his hometown team, or a clearer path down Highway 2 in Calgary.
It’s probably not hard to understand what Flames fans like about the kid.
A product of Alberta’s midget and junior-A hockey leagues – he played with the CAC Edmonton Canadians and the Bonnyville Pontiacs – Foo had his sights set on the college route from early on and played three seasons with the Union College Dutchmen.
Foo had a pair of pretty solid seasons with Union, with 25 points in each of his freshman and sophomore years. In his junior year (2016-17), his offense exploded – his 62 points was good for fourth in the entire NCAA and he was named a Hobey Baker Award finalist. After mulling over his free agency for awhile, he signed with the Flames in late June (several months after major college free agents usually sign).
His momentum continued. While he didn’t make the Flames out of training camp, he rapidly improved with the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat to the point where he helped drive their offense throughout much of the second half of the season. He was recalled to the NHL late in the season and had two goals in four games. With his appetite whetted by his brief call-up, he’s aiming to make the Flames out of camp.
“Obviously I want to come in and make the team,” said Foo at Flames development camp. “Having been there now and having some games under my belt I’m a little more confident in knowing what I have to do going forward. It’s always the same goal, and I think that’s for all the guys that go into main camp, is to make the team but I feel like I have a bit more of an edge this time.”
Like everyone connected to the franchise, Foo shared in the disappointment of the 2017-18 Flames campaign. And like everyone connected to the franchise, Foo’s well aware of all the offseason additions made by general manager Brad Treliving in an effort to bolster the team’s on-ice fortunes. But like several of the Flames’ key prospects – including Juuso Valimaki and Dillon Dube – Foo remains laser-focused on becoming a Flame.
“It adds a little bit more competition,” said Foo. “But at the end of the day it doesn’t affect anything for me. I’m coming in with the same mindset. I want to be there in the fall and I’m going to try and show everything I can.”