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NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Erik Foley

AJ Haefele Avatar
May 27, 2015

 

Get to Know Erik Foley

Date of Birth: 6/30/1997
Place of Birth: Mansfield, MA, USA
Ht: 5’11” Wt: 172 lbs
Shoots: Left
Position: Left Wing
Team: Cedar Rapids Roughriders (USHL)

Erik Foley is the kind of player you fall in love with quickly. He’s a bit on the small side but plays like he’s Godzilla on skates. He thrives on the physical aspect of the game and that attack mentality served him well playing for Tabor Academy as a high school player in Massachusetts.

Even though his production wasn’t elite, it was enough for him to be drafted in the 6th round by the USHL’s Cedar Rapids Roughriders in 2013. Upon committing to Providence College, Foley took the leap to the USHL and had a great season, especially for a rookie in a tight-checking, defense-oriented league like the USHL. His 54 points in 57 games put him on the NHL Draft radar and right into the early round conversation.

Foley will begin play for Providence College this fall.

Statistics

What Scouts See

eliteprospects.com:

An offensive winger who knows how to take opposing players out of the play. Can play an agitative game, but is at his best when recognizing opportunities and taking advantage of them. A good skater who has the right amount of skill to do what he can to help his team every night; on the other hand, does not possess the biggest body, so can be ineffective in his role at times.

Jeff Cox, SB Nation College Hockey:

“He’s very athletic and tough. He has excellent strength and balance. Erik is one of those players who is incredibly difficult to knock off the puck and he’s really good on the wall, especially from the dots down in the offensive zone,” said Tabor Academy coach Gerry Dineen.

One thing that scouts will notice the more they watch Foley play is his deceptive speed, his offensive instincts and his heavy shot despite his lack of elite hands and footwork that say a Jack Eichel or Jeremy Bracco exhibit.

What BSN Avalanche sees

Erik Foley is an intriguing prospect because he’s slight of build, with some room to bulk up still, but he plays like a bit of a wild man at times. As you’ll see below in one of the highlight videos, he refers to himself as a “power forward” and he does his best to play that game. He’s a very physical player who loves getting into it with opposing teams and making their lives miserable. He loves hitting guys at every turn and plays that punishing style to great effect on some nights.

Beyond his pesky play, Foley showcases quite a bit of skill at times. He’s a good skater with lots of room for improvement and he has good natural quickness. His puck skills are a bit hit and miss right now as he possesses a good, hard shot and he can stickhandle through traffic pretty well. He’s not going to be a big-time scorer at the pro level but he has plenty of skill to contribute in a complementary role.

Foley’s shot is good but his release is slow and cleaning up some of the mechanics should be one of the areas he looks to work on when he gets to Providence. As was mentioned in one of the scouting reports above, Foley doesn’t possess great hands or footwork and my viewings of him supported those conclusions. I feel his offensive upside is limited.

So much of Foley’s success right now comes via his physical play but there are too many nights in which his size limits his effectiveness in this role. Moving into higher levels of hockey, Foley is going to have to find other ways to impact games and help his team when things aren’t going his way. Right now he’s just a bit too one-dimensional but a couple years of college hockey will serve him well.

Highlights



NHL Potential

Foley’s ceiling is difficult to project because the style of play he thrives on doesn’t necessarily jive with the size of his body and at higher levels he’s going to struggle to succeed without making adjustments. If he does make those adjustments and develop, Foley could be an effective 3rd line player with the offensive skills to jump onto the second line in spot duty.

Expected Draft Position

Foley is generally agreed upon to be a solid second round talent. His highest ranking comes from former NHL GM Craig Button, who placed him 33rd. ESPN’s Corey Pronman isn’t quite as high on him and has him listed as 83rd. With that kind of variance, it’s a safe bet to assume Foley’s draft day ceiling is the second round and his floor is the fourth round.

How Prospect Fits in Avalanche Organization

Foley and the Avalanche would be a bit of an awkward fit together. While the Avs desperately need a talent infusion in their forward ranks, Foley comes with a bevy of question marks that make him a risky proposition at 40th overall, where Colorado is slated to select in the second round, but would be a better fit at their third round pick, 71st overall.

Foley would come into the organization as one of a handful of left wing prospects with a whole lot to prove but he has an advantage in that he will be attending Providence College, giving him four years to develop before a decision needs to be made on his future. Foley’s physical play style makes him an intriguing prospect for the Avalanche but their desire for bigger players is at odds with what Foley brings to the table, especially given his need to alter that play style as he moves up the ranks.

All in all, Foley would be good value for the Avalanche in the 3rd round but a bit of a reach anytime before that.

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