The Columbus Blue Jackets sign their first ever player born in the 2000’s in Liam Foudy.
The Columbus Blue Jackets made a surprise pick with the 18th overall selection in this year’s draft by taking Liam Foudy. It wasn’t quite as surprising as taking Pierre-Luc Dubois third overall in 2016, but it was surprising nonetheless.
Another surprise came when the Jackets announced that they have signed Foudy to a three year, entry level contract. The signing is surprising one considering how little of Foudy the Jackets have seen at a high level.
Top three draft picks are commonly signed immediately. There is no reason not to as most of these players will contribute on an NHL roster the same year and have a much lower chance of not panning out.
But players like Foudy often don’t sign their ELC for a year or sometimes two after their draft year. Teams like to see the player progress and show signs of growth before they put pen to paper. Last year the Jackets didn’t sign their top draft pick, Alexandre Texier, until after he played a full season in Finland and he proved he could play against men in a top tier league.
This scenario where the Jackets wait a season to sign Foudy was certainly expected by me. He has only a half of a season in the OHL as a top line forward. He did produce in that time when he was given an increased role on the London Knights, but the small sample size doesn’t give the scouting and player development staff a ton to go off of.
With this signing those staff and Jarmo are doubling down on their surprising pick of Foudy. It’s an early sign that they know that Foudy will be an NHL caliber players sooner rather than later.
The Jackets now have 16 centers signed. Some are center/wingers but nonetheless, they have plenty of players capable of playing down the middle.
Many are not with the Jackets or Monsters but the rights are owned by the organization. Of those 16, six have contracts expiring at the end of the 2018-2019 season. Besides Lukas Sedlak, those remaining players are all in Cleveland where Foudy couldn’t even play in 2019 due to the CHL/NHL age agreement.
The signing is a surprise but not a huge risk. Worst case scenario is that Foudy is a year closer to UFA status and that is years down the road.
Foudy is officially a Columbus Blue Jacket for the next three years.