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Angle hopes to add heart, grit to Blue Jackets organization

Notebook: Meyer, Foudy return as veterans of development camp

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

Welcome to Columbus, Tyler Angle. 

It's not where the Ontario native thought he'd be this week, but he's fine with that. 

In the lead-up to the 2019 NHL Draft, Angle -- who put himself on the draft radar this past season thanks to a 20-goal campaign with Windsor of the OHL -- said he didn't have much communication with the Blue Jackets. 

So as the draft neared its end, he wasn't sure what was next -- until the Blue Jackets chose him in the seventh round with the 212th overall pick. 

"Columbus was one of the teams I wasn't talking to much during the season, so I didn't expect to end up here," he said. "I didn't know what to expect, honestly. But to be here, to step foot into the city and the rink, it's been nice. Everybody has been really welcoming." 

Tweet from @OHLHockey: WATCH THIS: Third-year @SpitsHockey forward @Angle89Tyler doubled his goal output in 2018-19, drawing the attention of the @BlueJacketsNHL. #NHLDraft

While the Blue Jackets hadn't done much talking, they had been watching. Assistant director of amateur scouting Chris Morehouse saw Angle play a number of times this year with the Spitfires and became more and more impressed as he saw the 5-10 center grow into his game, which culminated with a 20-24-44 season in his third year in the OHL.  

"I saw him a lot the last two years," Morehouse said at the draft. "He just kept popping out at me every time I went to see him play. He's a guy that he has skill, but he plays anywhere you want in the lineup. Every game I went to watch him play, you just saw the progression.  

"He has skill but he has that compete and the willingness to battle and engage. Those are things I like." 

The 18-year-old confirmed he tries to be a difficult player to play against, as given his skill set and modest size, that battle level has to be there for him to be an effective player. The Thorold, Ontario, native also added three goals in four OHL playoff games and led the Spitfires with eight power-play goals. 

"I think I have a big heart and that shows on the ice," Angle said of his skills. "No matter what the score is, I try to work until the last minute, until the buzzer goes. I'm not the biggest guy out there so I like to make my speed and my size factor into my game. I have a little bit of skill, and the grittiness of my game can get other players off their game." 

He also said he received an injection of confidence this year after playing the past two seasons at age 16 and 17 in the OHL. 

"Going into that third year, the confidence built up," said Angle, who had a combined 12 goals and 21 points his first two seasons with the Spitfires. "They did a good job of helping me with that. The more and more I was playing, I got power-play minutes and played on the penalty kill, and I think that factored into my game and the points showed." 

Meyer Back: Players have come to Columbus from all over the world for this year's development camp, while one prospect had a much shorter commute. 

"Ten minutes," Carson Meyer said with a smile. 

The Powell, Ohio, native and Ohio State standout didn't have far to go to reach the OhioHealth Ice Haus, and it's certainly a familiar spot for the 21-year-old right wing. 

Not only did Meyer skate at the rink growing up in the Columbus suburbs, he's now attending his fourth development camp - one before being drafted and then his third since being a sixth-round pick of the team in the 2017 draft. 

Now a veteran of the process, the forward who racked up nine goals and 22 points last year for the Big Ten regular-season champion Buckeyes views himself as a leader during the camp. 

"There's always room for improvement," he said. "I really want to improve on my skating this week. We have (skating consultant) Lee Harris out there helping us with our skating, so I'll really focus on that stuff. 

"Then other than that, I have been thinking my first year here, I was kind of nervous and didn't want to step on any toes. I didn't really know my place. Now it's my fourth year here. I know exactly what to do, I know everybody here, so just kind of ease the process for a couple of the younger guys or help a couple of the Europeans I've gotten to know." 

Foudy for thought: 2018 first-round draft pick Liam Foudy is back for his second development camp, and it's after a huge year that included 36 goals for London of the OHL and his professional debut in the postseason with Cleveland of the AHL. 

Tweet from @JacketsInsider: 2018 first-round pick Liam Foudy scored 36 goals last year with @GoLondonKnights of the OHL. You can see how. #CBJ

Foudy played big part in the Monsters' opening-round postseason series victory vs. Syracuse, scoring two goals in the clinching Game 4 win over the Crunch. Those were his only points of the postseason, but he was also plus-3 and showed a nose for the net in the eight-game playoff run. 

So what was learned during that brief pro stint by the forward, who just turned 19 in February? 

"They are pretty strong in the corners," he said. "That's the biggest difference I noticed." 

So getting stronger will be on the docket for Foudy, whose calling card is the blazing speed that made him especially dangerous on the penalty kill, where he tied for second in the OHL with six shorthanded goals.  

Foudy said his goal is to play in the NHL, and if he doesn't make his debut this upcoming season, he'll return to the OHL, where he was a point-per-game player in 2018-19 and could do even more should he return. 

"I was more of a leader this year in London," Foudy said. "It was my third year there, so I got more experience. Guys relied on me and the coaches relied on me. It makes me feel comfortable out there, and I'm just bringing more confidence into this camp." 

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