Every Thursday, NHL.com will look ahead to the 2020 NHL Draft with an in-depth profile on one of its top prospects.
Jean-Luc Foudy is carving his own path to becoming a professional hockey player, though he also has an excellent role model to follow with older brother Liam Foudy, who was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the No. 18 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.
"He's a fast hockey player and I think I have that same attribute of playing fast," Jean-Luc Foudy said of his 20-year-old brother. "He uses his speed well, so I kind of watched him growing up, saw what kind of moves he would make with his speed and I think I've taken a couple of those into my own game."
Whatever Jean-Luc has added to his repertoire, it's been working. The center from Windsor in the Ontario Hockey League is No. 33 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters.
"I think we're similar in speed," Liam Foudy said. "We both try to control our game by how fast we skate and the big thing that he's always been good about is how he sees the ice. He's always been known as a great passer and he gets guys open by the way he creates open ice with his speed so he can find guys easily like that."
Jean-Luc Foudy (5-foot-11, 177 pounds), had 43 points (15 goals, 28 assists) in 59 games this season. He led Windsor with two overtime goals and was second with four game-winning goals.
"He's a unique player," Windsor coach Trevor Letowski said. "Everyone talks about his skating. In junior he's a breakout machine, he's got like a magnet on his stick, like the crafty players in the NHL. He can just kind of steal pucks out of traffic and come out with it. As soon as he can figure out when he can distribute it and then skate to places to get the puck back is when he's really going to be dangerous."
Jean-Luc and Liam don't have to look far to see where their love for athletics and competition come from. Their father, Sean Foudy, played defensive back in the Canadian Football League for six seasons (1989-94). Their mother, France Gareau, won a silver medal for Canada in the 4x100 relay at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
"There weren't many friendly games between us," Liam said. "Everything we did was very competitive, from video games to athletic sports. We always worked really hard, pushed each other to be better, and now that he's in the OHL we work out a lot in the summers and push each other to be better and it's great to have that competitiveness with someone you're really close with."
Jean-Luc finished first in the on-ice testing at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects event in Hamilton, Ontario, on Jan. 15. He placed first in transition agility, transition agility with puck and reaction with puck, and second in 30-meter forward skate and 30-meter forward skate with puck.
"Speed is my main thing and a lot of the testing was speed, so it was kind of meant for me," Foudy said.
Liam Foudy scored 68 points (28 goals, 40 assists) in 45 games with London of the OHL this season and also had four points (three goals, one assist) while averaging 15:17 of ice time to help Canada win the IIHF 2020 World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic. He also played his first two NHL games in February when the Blue Jackets made him an emergency recall. He scored his first point in the League with an assist against the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 13.
"Liam and Jean-Luc are both exceptional athletes and elite skaters," Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr said. "Each possess superior speed that is capable of making a difference on plays. They're competitive with a strong work ethic to apply themselves to advance their development. Liam has more of a power game going to the net with the puck, while Jean-Luc has a more distinctive playmaking, set-up game in the offensive zone. Both have the skills to produce and contribute offensively."
Jean-Luc, who turned 18 on May 13, prefers to play center rather than on the wing. He plays center in Windsor but played wing for Canada at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, where he scored four points (two goals, two assists) in five games.
"The coaches put me on wing [at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup] because of my speed," Foudy said. "They thought I could push defenders back and I just took it as an opportunity. Personally, I find you're more involved in the play as a center.
"It's kind of like the quarterback, the center of attention, with breaking the puck out or as the first guy back defending low or checking guys. I like that responsibility."
Windsor teammate William Cuylle, a forward who is No. 34 in Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, believes Foudy has the speed and creativity necessary to play center at the next level.
"He's a high-risk/high-reward kind of player and is confident with the puck," Cuylle said. "He loves to have the puck on his stick and can make plays in pretty much any area of the game. His shot got a lot better this year and I think he's definitely taken that next step to elevate his goal-scoring ability."
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