Photo Credit: Jack Lima

Development camp 2018: Spencer Foo has his sights set on Calgary

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.

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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.”

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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.”

  • freethe flames

    I expected Foo to show much better at the scrimmage. The people beside me asked: “is Foo injured as he has been invisible during the scrimmage?” Then low and behold he scored a wonderful goal in the shootout and that was the highlight of his day for me. The Flames have clearly made a move to make the competition for the opening day squad more difficult and Foo may become one of the victims of this. Much will depend on the preseason for him and others. He might not even be in the top 6 at RW for the Heat.

      • HAL MacInnis

        Foo always struck me as a thoughtful guy in his interviews… the exact opposite of Edmonton’s culture. He knows he made the right choice. And when you know you’ve made the right choice, you don’t look back.

        I’m reminded of an interview with Taylor Hall in which he revealed that he was a little sh!t and never listened to his coaches in Edmonton. It took a professional culture in New Jersey to straighten him out and help him grow up. It ain’t a secret about how toxic Edmonton is.

        • Who is Alberta’s team?

          Let’s see Hal…. 5 cups vs 1. In the last 30 years your awesome team with awesome culture has made it out of the FIRST round TWICE. Lol think about that for a second…. please tell us all about culture again???

          • HAL MacInnis

            Rock, you just reminded me why I miss that show…

            “Once upon a time, there was a man who sold shoes. He was a good man, but somehow, good things never came to him. Did I mention he was a great athlete in high school? People cheered him. That was before the…Red THING appeared. Darkness fell on Shoetown. Who would take on the Red Beast? Who would battle? Who would marry it? The little shoeman stepped forward. Or perhaps the others just stepped back? At any rate, an unholy union was born. So were two unholy children. And the lowly shoeman, who once had been a mighty athlete in high school and scored 4 touchdowns in one game and had many offers to junior colleges and could’ve made something of his life! Laid down, and died. The End.”

          • Redleader

            It’s called a season or average of around 90 plus points for Flames last 15 years compared to Soilers season point average of like 70 . No recent playoff success but atleast we don’t suck all year every year!!!

      • freethe flames

        I’m not sure that is what I said. With the addition of the number of RHS the Flames signed in the off season who are already ahead of him: Lindholm, Ryan, and probably Czarnik as well as a guy like Buddy who had a more productive AHL year than Foo last year as well as the addition of Phillips and Gawdin as RHS who likely will need(they of course need to earn it) top 9 AHL time; it will be competitive. It’s also why I use words like “might” rather than “will” it the comment.

        • everton fc

          I wouldn’t put Phillips, nor (and especially) Gawdin, in this conversation. Czarink’s going to get a lot of games – maybe a full season. If he’s a bust, it’s 1.25 cap hit. Nothing huge. If they keep Frolik, then Czarnik and Foo will battle for a 4th line winger role. Nothing more. That’s how I see it.

          If they move Frolik and insert Czarnik in his place, that’s just plain stupid.

          The 4th line wing spots are up for grabs between Foo/Czarnik/Hathaway/Lazar/Brouwer. That’s how I see it, with our 3rd line being either Bennett/Ryan/Frolik, or Bennett/Jankowski/Ryan. I see the former, over the latter.

        • Getpucksdeep

          I get your point but would temper it with using AHL results as a guide. Endless players were just “okay” in the AHL and became stars in the NHL when they played with quality linemates. Others star in the AHL and it never translate to the NHL. They end up staring for years in the AHL. It’s in some respects like viewing a KHL players results.

          • MDG1600

            “Endless” players were only OK in the AHL and stars in the NHL? I am not saying there aren’t any but they aren’t very many. The vast majority of stars in the NHL either never played in the AHL or were succesful in the AHL before achieving success in the NHL.

    • HAL MacInnis

      I’m just fine if Foo plays one more year in Stockton. He needs to show why he’s ready for the NHL. I’d rather have a confident Spencer Foo come October 2019, than a kid who is struggling to find his bearings this coming season. Jankowski is the perfect example of what I’m talking about; a textbook transition to the NHL, if there ever was one.

  • Joeyhere

    Ironic (yet wonderfully so) that given the flames new depth Foo would have a better chance making the oilers now given their weak 3rd and 4th lines )

    (Even still, I bet he is glad not to have to be on that team)

  • freethe flames

    With only 38 players signed and 6 RFA’s signed I wonder who else might the Flames add. Is there anyone else out there to sign to two way deals or even to AHL deals that could be of interest. Teams are usually closer to 48.

    • Heeeeeere's Johnny!

      I have been taking screenshots of the crashes and sending them to [email protected]. I think if we all get helpful and send them as much information as possible they will understand the pain of this site. I don’t know if you frequent other nationnetwork sites … my only other one is bluejaysnation and I experience 0 issues there. It seems to be a flamesnation issue.

    • SourCreamGlazed

      Fingers crossed they at least move towards throwback colours. But personally, considering the tirefire that is these Adidas jerseys, we’ll get some hodgepodge of shoehorned ideas topped off by those toilet-seat collars.