Left Wing, 6'1" 202 Pounds
Houston Aeros (AHL)/Minnesota Wild (NHL) 14-18-32/0-0-0
I'm probably a little higher on Foucault than most, but I also see why some folks aren't convinced that he can be a player at the NHL level. Having just wrapped up his first professional season for Houston, and a solid one at that, he also made his NHL debut this last season. I saw him live during the 2011 Traverse City Prospect Tournament, where he saw top line duty with Zack Phillips and Brett Bulmer.
Its not that Foucault doesn't have the tools to succeed- he is a strong skater, he's got wonderful hands and offensive instincts, has good size and plays with jam, its that he's been dogged with the dodgy work ethic/inconsistency tag. Capable of making absolutely electric plays (which even make Guy Lapointe go woooo) and then a lazy and apathetic play on the next shift, Foucault's biggest challenge is maintaining his focus and intensity from the drop of the puck until the final buzzer.
Drafted in the Fourth Round of the 2009 Entry Draft, I had a scout tell me that Foucault could very well end up being the Steal of the Draft- Foucault came out of nowhere and engaged in beast mode for the Calgary Hitmen in the WHL playoffs, scoring 11 goals and 16 points in 18 games. Given large expectations the next two years, Foucault was solid in terms of production but disappointing as well- although he did play very well in the playoffs as Calgary went on to the Memorial Cup.
If the new regime didn't think he was worth it, he wouldn't had been signed to an Entry-Level Deal last May; maybe the belief is that all it could take for him to reach his potential was to put him in a position where he was pushed constantly- that he needs to learn how to be a professional. And with the emphasis on internal competition, what better place than in Houston, especially with the influx of youth coming this season?
There is also this- the "tweener mold" that FRB talks about- guys who have top-6 capabilities but have the grit to play elsewhere, creating on-ice roster flexibility- may have originated with Kris Foucault. He fits the same profile as a Brett Bulmer, or a Raphael Bussieres, or a Jason Zucker. I'm anxious to see what sort of player he is now that he enters Year 2 of his professional career.
Previous 2012 Minnesota Wild Top 20 Articles:
#17 - Nick Seeler
#18 - Tyler Cuma
#19 - Chay Genoway
#20 - Tyler Graovac