Another guy who’s taken a big step forward this year. After his fantastic playoff run last season, Warren Foegele has quietly had a real impact for the Canes as a (mostly) bottom-6 forward, and figures to be in the team’s plans moving forward.
Though not a world beater offensively, Foegele has already managed to double his output from last season, with 30 points, and has set a career-high with 13 goals despite playing 9 fewer games.
He’s also managed to keep up as a great possession player, although playing with Jordan Staal certainly helps in that regard. His Corsi rating is 53.7, and Foegele’s possession quality is +7.9 – which shows that the Hurricanes are generating far more scoring chances than their opposition with Foegele on the ice.
Foegele’s success comes via his honest playing style. He’s a relentless worker, he has good wheels and he goes to the dirty areas of the ice. He’s not a naturally skilled player, but he shows glimpses of offensive ability and has a nose for the net around the crease.
He’ll be 24 next week, but considering his overall career trajectory, Foegele has developed probably as well as the Canes could’ve ever hoped when they drafted him back in 2014. He’s become an ideal bottom-6 forward, and a guy who can step up into the top-6 should the situation call for it.
He’s also shown he’s a playoff performer, with his exceptional 5-goal effort during the Canes’ run to the East Final in 2019. Foegele was arguably the Canes X-Factor against the Washington Capitals, and was a major contributing factor to them knocking out the defending Stanley Cup champs.
Moving forward, Foegele will likely remain an integral part of the Canes’ lineup. The coaches trust him, he’s a regular on the penalty kill, and he’s become a reliable option in all situations. A new contract for him won’t break the bank either, so the team should easily be able to fit him in at a reasonable cap number.
All things considered, I don’t see a reason for Foegele not to be retained this offseason. The Canes have options with him. They could do a bridge deal, or they could look to get him locked up for longer term at a bit of an increased AAV if they believe in his trajectory as an NHLer. Regardless, expect Foegele to be a Hurricane in 2020-21 and beyond.