March 27, 2009
Foucault proving his worthForward carves out spot in powerful Hitmen lineup
By SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA
Chalk up another huge 'W' in Kelly Kisio's column.
The Calgary Hitmen GM is a finalist for WHL executive of the year.
And you need to look no further than forward Kris Foucault to see why.
Kisio plucked the Calgary product out of the AJHL at the WHL trade deadline in January in exchange for seldom-used winger Ryan Fox.
Foucault was property of the Kootenay Ice, a team he played four games with this season before joining the Tier II Canmore Eagles.
From being a healthy scratch to arguably the club's MVP of its opening-round sweep of the Edmonton Oil Kings, it's been quite a ride.
"Yeah, from being a healthy scratch in Kootenay, and then being sent home, it's been quite a change," said Foucault, who leads the Hitmen with four goals in the post-season.
The 6-foot, 190-pounder said it was hard to sit in the pressbox in Cranbrook.
"It always feels like somebody saying stuff behind your back," he said. "It doesn't feel like you're a part of the team.
"You're just kind of there in case somebody gets injured.
"It's not a good feeling."
Foucault resurrected his career in Canmore, where he played himself onto Kisio's radar with 41 points in 32 AJHL tilts.
"Andrew Milne was my coach in Canmore and he helped me out a lot," he said.
"He was all for me going to Calgary, even though he knew he might miss me a little bit."
Foucault was viewed by many as a depth addition, a player who wouldn't be in the lineup on a nightly basis.
But he opened the door by scoring a goal in his third game in Hitmen silks. He kicked it wide open with a two-goal, three-point performance in his next outing and never looked back, going on an eight-game points streak.
"Coming here, I didn't expect to have any ice time at all," he admitted. "I hoped to get into one or two playoff games and show what I could do.
"But Dave (Lowry, head coach) has given me an awesome opportunity and I have to thank him for that."
But for all his newfound success, Foucault insisted he's not finished trying to prove himself.
"I haven't proved anything yet," he said.
"I haven't proved I can play in this league. I just proved I got lucky a few games and got a few bounces.
"But I'm extremely happy to be putting some pucks in the net. I'm starting to get some recognition for being the goalscorer I am."
Foucault will likely never see the pressbox again. But he's focused on showing the coaching staff he's worthy of playing with top forwards Brett Sonne and Kyle Bortis.
"Sonne's been a great mentor to me," he said. "He's a great player, so I need to prove, night in and night out, that I deserve to play with him.
"It's pretty easy to learn from Brett Sonne. He's a Canadian world junior guy.
"I have to play to his level every game. And I think it's easy for him to play with me because I just try to get him the puck."
Sonne, who was scratched for Wednesday's series finale in Edmonton, should benefit from the club's eight-day break.
For everyone else? It's back to work.
"We're back on the ice (today). Dave runs a tight ship," Foucault said with a laugh. "I think Dave's going to keep us sharp and make sure we're working hard in practice."