I am a Mighty Ducks fan and the Ducks just signed Kurtis Foster to a one year deal. My guess it that the Ducks might be expecting him to fill Havelid's role next year on D. This would not be a bad idea as last year the Ducks were lacking size (Havelid is 5'11 to about 6 foot) and the Ducks already have players that can play a lot of ice time like Carney, Ozolinsh, Skoula, Vishnevski, Salie, etc... But my question is, do you Atlanta Fans see much promise in Foster? Not many NHL players have a slap shot over 100 mph, let along an AHL player. And Foster's shot was clocked at over 100 mph. So what I am thinking is, do you guys think he can make the jump next year to the NHL with the Ducks? And out of the following list, who do you think he would best be paired with? In my opinion, paring him with Carney seems like the smart move. Foster would create space for Carney out there (Carney was always the one creating space for the other person who was with him on the D-pairing). Also, Foster would have a slap shot that would scare goalies.
My thoughts on D-pairings:
1. Major league body in terms of size but plays smaller than he should;
2. Moster slap shot with good location however it takes a long time to setup and release. Way too many blocks and deflections. I think he can be effective on the powerplay with time to set up;
3. Offensively he is adequate with breakout passes. Takes too many chances, for my taste, but that is just experience. However, it seems that his offensive decision-making is a bit slow;
4. Defensive is the problem. I really think he looked lost or out of place too much, the last 2 years. At this point in his development, he should have been further along. He gets out of position easily and makes bad coverage decisions. In fact, I don't think he's improved much over the past 2 years.
I don't see Foster as a likely contributer on the Duck blueline this year. Maybe next, but I doubt it. I see him as a marginal AHL guy. Look, nobody needs NHL ready, young, big defensemen more than the Thrashers so DW's willingness to let Foster go suggests that they lost patience or gave up on him.