2021 Player Review: Liam Foudy had a forgettable first season with the Columbus Blue Jackets
No goals in 24 games before being sent back to Cleveland and spending a chunk of the season injured … not exactly how you want to see your first round pick develop.
Liam Foudy burst onto the scene in the bubble last year, playing 10 games, including 42:27 in the five-overtime game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He scored an even strength goal in the deciding game five of the play-in round against the Toronto Maple Leafs. In the bubble, Foudy looked like he belonged for long stretches. This season, his first season in the NHL, expectations were that Foudy might struggle but would look like he fit in in the NHL more often than not.
That, emphatically, did not happen.
Foudy was a disappointment by all measures this season. He played just 24 mostly forgettable games. He averaged just 12:36 per game before he was sent to Cleveland. When Columbus was playing out the string, Foudy was still in Cleveland and articles were being written by beat writers questioning why young players were not getting playing time. Not exactly the type of development you want to see your former first round pick getting, it seems like.
Next year, the Blue Jackets will be bad and Brad Larsen will be tasked with successfully developing young players. Hopefully that means extensive time for Foudy and he will be given ample time and trust to not only make mistakes, but play through them and grow into an NHL contributor.
Liam Foudy 2021 Stats
Games played: 24
5v5 CF%: 44.1%
5v5 FF%: 42.8%
Foudy is entering the final year of his entry-level deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets, meaning he is a restricted free agent at the end of the 2021-22 season. The pressure will be on for Foudy to perform with negotiations looming. He only has 26 regular season games to his credit in the NHL, so this season is critical for his future.
On January 23, Foudy was the primary assist on Vladislav Gavrikov’s eventual game winning goal over the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was his only point in a Blue Jackets win this season.
Other than all of it?
On February 7, Foudy went a -3 in a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. He registered no shots, played just 12:35 (16 shifts), and was generally invisible as the Blue Jackets lost 6-5. A night where many players flew up and down the ice and contributed offensively, Foudy didn’t make a single dent in the counting stats apart from two hits.
Not what you want to see. Kind of a theme.
How would you grade Liam Foudy’s 2021 season?