Leafs Draft Watch Profile: Callan Foote
|Credit: Marissa Baecker/Getty Images|
This is the second in a series of posts where we will take a look at five players the Toronto Maple Leafs could potentially pick at the upcoming 2017 NHL draft in June.
In the previous entry, we took a look at Nicolas Hague, a defenseman playing for the Mississauga Steelheads.
While the Toronto Maple Leafs have made some additions on defense recently, improving the back end remains an important area for the team to address this offseason. Should they draft another defenseman in Chicago this June, Callan Foote of the Kelowna Rockets could be a wise choice.
Height: 6 foot 3 inches
Weight: 209 Pounds
Hometown: Englewood, CO
Ranked #9 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #26 by Future Considerations
Ranked #23 by McKeen's Hockey
Ranked #12 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
List provided by Elite Prospects.
What the scouts say
ISS Hockey - Mar. 9th: "Two-way defenseman with high hockey IQ in all three zones. Almost never out of position on a play."
ISS Hockey - : "Rock solid Defensively shuts down the rush extremely well w/good positioning & active stick."
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."
Dennis Schellenberg Hockey Prospectus - : "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."
List of quotes provided by My NHL Draft.
Callan Foote, like many top-ranked prospects, has a lot of good things about his game that teams will find attractive. He isn't a perfect player, no doubt, but he has potential to be a great impact player.
Foote may not be the largest player on the ice, but he makes up for it with his offensive skill set. This past season, he registered 6 goals, 51 assists, and 57 points in 71 games. This suggests that he can be a great quarterback on the power play, sending good passes at the right time and firing shots that can be tipped on the way in.
In addition to his offensive abilities, Foote is also responsible in his own end with good defensive instinct. He is able to get into positioning quickly and uses his size to box out opponents trying to generate a scoring chance. These are skills that are essential to become a good defender in today's NHL.
Perhaps most importantly, Foote has a strong hockey-IQ and can be an effective player at both ends of the rink. Good vision, excellent positioning, and reading of the play are skills an elite two-way defender needs, and Foote showcases these abilities game-to-game.
While it does sound like Foote is poslished up and ready for the NHL this coming season, there are still some areas he needs to improve upon to increase his value.
Unlike his father, Adam Foote, Callan isn't a physical player despite being blessed with size. He can be a presence when playing in his own end, but Foote doesn't play "mean" against other players, which could leave him vulnerable against more physical players. Adding this element to his game can help him be more effective inthe NHL style of play.
Additionally, while Foote does have good offensive instinct, he lacks the finish to put the puck in the net more often. His lack of goal production throughout his career thus far makes him less of a scoring threat when he has the puck. Confidence in his ability to score could go a long way in improving his production on the ice.
As with many defenders his size, Foote isn't a very fast skater. He lacks the mobility to constantly fly down the rink or to catch-up with the smaller players on the attack. With the NHL putting a larger emphasis on speed and skill, Foote needs to improve his skating abilities if he is to keep up with the rest of the players and ensure a long NHL career.
Is he worth it?
Overall, Foote has many attractive qualities in his play on the ice. He is a smart two-way defender who has good passing skills, great read of plays and possesses strong offensive and defensive instincts.
Foote does have areas he needs to improve upon, including his physical play, scoring touch, and increasing his foot-speed. Most of these flaws can are correctable, so the Leafs shouldn't be afraid of considering him.
He has the potential to become an impact defender in the NHL for years to come, sharing similar traits to players such as Dougie Hamilton. If he is available when the Leafs pick 17th overall, they should definitely consider adding him to the organization.
You can follow Michael Mazzei on Twitter @MichaelMazzei3.