2022-23 Team: Ottawa 67’s (OHL)
Date of Birth: June 4, 2005
Place of Birth: Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Height: 5-foot-11, Weight: 172 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2023 first-year eligible
Cooper Foster is a well-rounded two-way center who hopes to hear his name called at the 2023 Draft. He works hard, is strong in his own zone and showed he has some goal-scoring capabilities this season for the Ottawa 67’s. While he may not be the most skilled, he is one of the hardest-working players on the ice, which led to a successful season in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) this year.
The area of Foster’s game that sticks out the most is how defensively reliable he is. He ensures his stick is blocking passing lanes and is in the right position while defending against the cycle. His defensive play also lends well to the penalty kill, as he helped Ottawa establish the second-best penalty kill in the OHL during the 2022-23 season.
Related: 2023 NHL Draft Guide
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In the offensive zone, Foster is at his best when he is charging the net, looking for rebounds. When he does have the puck on his stick, he mostly looks for passing options but also understands the importance of getting the puck on the net. A smart player who plays a simple game, adding a little more creativity will be something he needs to work on as his career continues.
In his first full season as an OHL player, Foster finished with 19 goals and 36 points in 63 games. He also surpassed the 100-shot mark and recorded three game-winning goals despite playing in the team’s bottom six. Overall it was a good rookie season, as he was able to demonstrate throughout the campaign that he can be an effective player at both ends of the ice.
The next step in Foster’s development will be his overall skating. If he wants to be a center for his career, he needs to become more explosive so that he can get back into his own zone quicker. While he isn’t a slow skater, there are some issues in his mechanics that need to be worked on.
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Cooper Foster- NHL Draft Projection
Foster’s defensive game should be enough for a team to take a chance on him. There is enough potential in his game to warrant a late-round selection. Expect his name to be called in the fifth round or later.
“Foster is an effective two-way forward who excels in the details of the game. He may not have standout skill or elite skating ability, but he compensates with strong off-the-puck play and a high compete level. Offensively, he is a capable playmaker and shooter, although he may not excel in open space.” – Austin Broad, FC Hockey.
- Willingness to drive the net
- Compete level
- Positioning in the defensive zone
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Creativity with the puck
If Foster can continue to work on his skating and add some creativity to his game, he could break into the NHL as a bottom-six winger that kills penalties. He still has a long way to go, but he was able to demonstrate this season that he can be a valuable player with some upside. How he plays over the next two seasons will be really telling in whether or not he has the potential to be successful at the pro level.
Risk – 1/5, Reward – 1.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 5/10, Defense – 5/10
Achievements & Awards
- 2021-2022 NOJHL Best Overall Team Player
- 2021-2022 NOJHL Champion
- 2021-2022 NOJHL First All-Star Team
- 2021-2022 NOJHL Most Valuable Player
- 2021-2022 NOJHL Regular Season Champion