TJ Foster signs AHL deal with Marlies

    Sophomore Golden Bear signs 2-year deal in AHL

    By Matt Gutsch on March 27, 2015

    University of Alberta Golden Bears sophomore hockey forward TJ Foster has signed a two-year American Hockey League (AHL) contract with the Toronto Marlies, and will join the Maple Leafs’ farm team for the 2015-16 season.

    Foster had an impressive two seasons with the Golden Bears, helping the most successful program in CIS history to consecutive Canada West titles as well as two straight national championship trophies. The Slave Lake born forward notched 65 points in 52 conference games, as well as nine points in 14 playoff games with the Golden Bears, and won the 2015 Canada West Outstanding Player of the Year award and the Dave “Sweeney” Schriner Trophy after he led the conference in scoring with 42 points (18 goals and 24 assists in 28 games). A member of the Canada West All-Rookie team in 2014, Foster was a CIS first team all-Canadian in his second season as well.

    He also suited up for Team Canada this past January and February at the 2015 Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain. He centered Canada’s top line at the biennial university games, and banked six points in six games to help Canada to a bronze medal.

    “My time here as a Golden Bear is unforgettable,” said Foster. “Being able to win two championships with a great group of guys is something I'll remember forever. It has been an honour and a privilege to play for such a storied program. The past two years have been my most enjoyable two years of hockey to date. Coach Herbers and his staff run the program professionally and I feel this will help moving on to the AHL. Playing against older, bigger and stronger guys has also helped prepare me as I know it'll be another step up in the AHL. Obviously the schedule will be a lot tougher and the lifestyle of professional hockey will be different, but I'm really excited to pursue this opportunity with the Toronto Marlies.”

    Prior to playing with the Golden Bears, Foster attended an NHL tryout with the Washington Capitals, and he played five years with the Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL where he tallied 101 goals and 256 points in 338 games. His best season with the Oil Kings came in 2011-12 when he notched 30 goals and 45 assists in 69 games, and then scored 10 points in 20 WHL playoff games as the Oil Kings won the Ed Chynoweth Cup as Western Hockey League champions.

    He is the ninth Golden Bear to sign an AHL contract in the last 11 years, following Eric Hunter (2011 - Lake Erie Monsters), Jesse Gimblett (2010 – Springfield Falcons), Aaron Sorochan (2009 – Springfield Falcons), Harlan Anderson (2009 – Springfield Falcons), Ben Thomson (2007 – Houston Aeros), Chris Ovington (2006 – Houston Aeros), Ryan Wade (2004 - Houston Aeros) and Kevin Marsh (2004 – Houston Aeros).

    Other Golden Bears to have gone pro recently are Ben Lindemulder (ECHL), Ian Barteaux (ECHL), Colin Joe (ECHL), Sean Ringrose (Europe), Derek Ryan (Europe), Greg Gardner (ECHL) and Zack Dailey (ECHL). The biggest success story is undoubtedly Ryan who, after three seasons as a top player in the Austrian League, moved to Orebro HK in the Swedish Hockey League (formerly Swedish Elite League) where he earned league MVP honours in 2015 after leading the league in points with 60 in 55 games.