The Edmonton Oilers traded defenceman Ethan Bear to the Carolina Hurricanes for winger Warren Foegele. Eager to learn more about Foegele, Ryan Henkel from SB Nation’s Canes Country was there to lend a hand.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.
Copper and Blue: Tell me about Warren Foegele as if I’m hearing about him for the first time. What kind of player is he?
Ryan Henkel: Foegele is a hard-nosed forward with a penchant for winning board battles and getting to the front of the net. He struggles with finishing, but he is an excellent offensive driver at even strength and can be relied upon in his own zone and on the penalty kill.
A hard working player, you won’t see Foegele give up on a play and he isn’t afraid to get physical (with a sneaky edge and snarl to him). Typically the player you see winning dump-ins and challenging puck carriers in their own zone.
C&B: Why do you suppose the Hurricanes made this trade?
RH: The two sides had been reportedly at odds with Foegele wanting to have more opportunity in Carolina, something that just wasn’t going to be possible with the Canes’ lineup having six forwards who are all better producers than him, and the Hurricanes needing to shake some things up in regards to their forward group.
Foegele is a useful player to have, but the Canes, as a group, all play a very similar style of game so his skill set was a bit overshadowed. That and Carolina just couldn’t really afford to keep him around with Martin Necas, Vincent Trocheck and Nino Niederreiter all needing to be extended after next season.
The trade also helped fill a need for Carolina. With Dougie Hamilton and Jake Bean both departing, the team was a little thin on the blueline, particularly on the right side. Adding a young defenseman like Ethan Bear for a player who was likely out the door anyway is a really good move for Carolina.
C&B: One of Edmonton’s greatest troubles last season was that they couldn’t do much scoring when Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl were off the ice (they were worst in the league at scoring without those two when compared to other teams without their top two scorers on the ice.) Early indications have Foegele on the third line in Edmonton. Will he help the Oilers score some goals?
RH: Even despite his finishing woes, Foegele generates enough looks and chances with his forechecking to be able to supplement any team well. He is the type of player that will grab a handful of greasy goals and he is virtually an assured thing to reach double-digit goal figures every year.
C&B: One of the knocks I keep reading about Foegele is that he’s good in front of the net, but he’s got trouble cashing in. Why do you suppose this is?
RH: It’s really hard to say why Foegele has had such troubles with finishing chances, because he can really show flashes of skill, stickhandling around opposing defenders or netminders in tight, but other times it seems that he just bobbles every chance he gets. It’s a mixed bag with him, that’s maybe more mental than anything else.
C&B: What’s Foegele’s ceiling? What is the best season we can reasonably expect?
RH: Foegele’s ceiling is being a middle-six defensive winger, with potential second line upside. In a perfect world, a 20 goal campaign may not be out of the realm of possibilities, but 15 goals/30 points would be the max I’d predict from him in terms of scoring.
But he will help tremendously off the stat sheet, in terms of keeping and driving possession, as well as defending chances and supplementing the penalty kill. While not necessarily a game-breaker, he’s the type of player that every successful club needs at least one of.
Thanks go to Ryan from Canes Country for his time.