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Another member of a famous hockey family, Nolan Foote has spent the last three seasons with the Kelowna Rockets. However, Nolan Foote has taken a different route through the hockey world than the rest of the Foote clan. Unlike his brother, Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Cal Foote, and his father, Adam Foote, Nolan Foote is a forward. He had a huge goal scoring year, as his 36 goals were triple his previous season. He finished with 63 points in 66 games. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, as the Rockets faltered down the stretch and lost a tie-breaker game against the Kamloops Blazers for the final Western Conference playoff spot.
Born in Denver, while his father was with the Colorado Avalanche, Foote has represented Canada internationally. In 2017, he played in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, putting up a goal and an assist and helping Canada to a gold medal. The previous year he played for Team Canada Black, putting up two points in six games and winning a silver medal at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge.
Nolan Foote Scouting Report
Left Wing — shoots Left
Born November 29th, 2000 — Denver, Colorado
Height 6’3″ — Weight 190 lbs [191 cm/86 kg]
Foote’s skating has improved this season but there is still a bit of work to do. While his top end speed is above average, his first few steps and his acceleration still need a bit of work. This means he has some trouble in winning races for loose pucks. However, he is good at keeping up with the rush and getting in on the forecheck. His agility and edgework are decent for his size. He has good power and balance though. Foote is strong on the puck and is very good in board battles and in front of the net.
Foote has very good size and plays with a blend of skill and power in his game. He has good stickhandling and puck protection ability. His size helps him to protect the puck on the cycle, and control the puck down low below the hash marks. He keeps the puck moving with smart passes to teammates and then moves to get himself open and take it back.
Foote has an excellent wrist shot and a very quick release. When teammates have the puck, he finds open areas to get that shot off. When the other team has the puck, he is quick to get in on the forecheck, causing pressure and creating turnovers. Foote also is a good playmaker with good vision and decent passing skills. Foote is willing to work in the dirty areas of the ice. He gets to the front of the net and uses his size to create havoc. He also battles well on the forecheck. Don’t expect Foote to be a huge hitter though, while he uses his size effectively in battles and to protect the puck, he does not through a lot of big hits.
Foote is a smart defensive player. He reads the play well and gets into good positions. He knows how to support the defence down low and battle against the opponent’s cycle. He is also not afraid to block shots or to take a hit to make a play. Foote uses his size and long stick effectively, cutting down passing lanes and intercepting passes. He has even been an effective penalty killer for Kelowna.
Projection and Comparison
Foote could take some time to be NHL ready. Big power forwards often need to continue to get stronger and put on muscle before playing that style of game effectively in the pros. He could also continue to work on his footspeed over the next couple of years. However, Foote plays the type of power game that teams are looking for and is becoming rarer in the NHL today. This will make him an attractive prospect on draft day. Foote’s style is similar to James Neal, however, this comparison is not one based on talent or ability level.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Nolan Foote that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Main Photo: KELOWNA, BC – JANUARY 26: Nolan Foote #29 of the Kelowna Rockets skates with the puck and looks for the pass against the Vancouver Giants at Prospera Place on January 26, 2019, in Kelowna, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)