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Nation Network 2017 Prospect Profile: #27 – Callan Foote

The last name may seem familiar to a few hockey fans. See, once there was a shutdown defender named Adam Foote. He was kind of okay at the whole playing hockey thing. He’s also Callan’s father.

Callan Foote is also pretty good at the whole hockey thing.

He has almost everything a scout could desire: bloodlines, above average size, points, skill, and coming from a club well known for spitting out NHL defenders. Overall, Foote has a lot going for him and he sits 27 for our prospect breakdown.

Bio:

  • Age: 18-years-old, 1998-12-13
  • Birthplace: Englewood, CO, USA
  • Position: RD
  • Handedness: Right
  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 209 lbs
  • Draft Year Team: Kelowna Rockets

Stats:

pGPS S pGPS N pGPS % pGPS P/82 Expected Value
 24  49 49.5  30.9 15.3

Read about pGPS here.

Scouts:

NHL (CSS) FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS HOCKEYPROSPECT MCKENZIE MCKEEN’S
 
ISS BUTTON DRAFT BUZZ
12 (NA) 26 17 18 30 12 18 15

Mike Morreale – NHL.com:

The 6-3, 213-pound son of former NHL defenseman Adam Foote probably won’t be the physical presence his father was, but plays all situations and uses his smarts, reach and strength to contain his opponent and gain position.

He is not afraid of playing physical and benefits from his big body and strength in battles. Possess decent shooting tools and is not only limited to a pure big and mean defender, but also distributes the puck smoothly and creates offence.

An assertive two-way defenceman that reads plays quickly and understands both the offensive and defensive sides of the roles he is put into. He uses his size to gain leverage against other players, though he isn’t an overly physical force. His hockey sense is outstanding, and his ability to no just read, but start and on the odd occasion, finish plays is overtly indicative of his high talent level.

Our Take:

The apple does not fall far from the tree.

Callan Foote might be the best defenseman in the draft in terms of defensive zone performance. Gap control, defensive zone positioning, boxing out, board battles, clearing the net… Foote pretty much has it all.

The right-shot defender has plus-NHL size and strength already, and is highly adept at using it to his advantage. While he will never be mistaken for his father, Foote will play an aggressive and physical game.

He defends and retrieves pucks well. Once in possession of the puck, Foote will initiate the breakout with solid execution, although he will never be mistaken as an advanced puck-moving defensemen.

While defense is Foote’s speciality, he is not without his offensive attributes. Foote does not carry a booming shot, but he can put the puck in net. For the most part his offense comes from distributing the puck via primary shot-passes or building up the play.

Foote contains sufficient offensive instinct and vision to quarterback the primary power play unit of a strong (and analytically inclined) junior roster.

His biggest weaknesses would be his tendency to play safe, overly so to a fault. Foote is overly reliant in dump or chip plays, limiting his team’s and own offensive potential. Once in the offensive zone, Foote plays well enough, but he could add the occasional puck rush to assist his team in gaining the offensive zone with possession.

The bulk of Foote’s production comes from even strength and power play assists. His primary goal production, as is the norm for NHL prospective defenders in major junior.

Foote’s even strength production places him in the second tier for draft eligible defenders from the WHL, behind Juuso Valimaki. While Foote is an older draft eligible skater with his early birthday, he is still younger than Valimaki.

With above average size and a solid 0.79 point per game pace, Foote produces quite a few NHL successes in his list of statistical cohorts. Many of his 100-199 NHL game cohorts are players likely to eclipse the 200 game threshold as well, such as Alex Petrovic and Brandon Davidson.

When we look at which NHL players closest statistically resembled Foote at 17-years-old, we see the closest comparable player being Karl Alzner. While Alzner may have been overvalued by coaches and general managers throughout his NHL career thus far, he is still a serviceable defensive defender.

There are quite a few “overrated” defenders in his list. This is not atypical for a plus-sized defender, which opens up the debate on using NHL usage, like games played, as a measure of success for a player.

A player’s usage may be due to talent but may also be due to unjustified bias that extends from amateur scouting to the professional level.

A pGPS of 49.5 per cent analytically suggests that Foote is a fairly safe player. Being ranked within the first round by most scouting services adds another layer of assurance.

Ultimately, Foote is very likely to be a NHL player; however, there is some limitations on his upside. Foote carries enough offensive talent to give him about a good shot at being a second pairing defender, let alone competently play in the NHL.

That said, his lack of elite offensive upside, noted through both qualitative and quantitative scouting, reduces his chances of being a first-pairing defender, pushing him back to late within the first round.