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Foote ready for training camp with Lightning

Defenseman working on strength, getting advice from NHL father

by Corey Long / Correspondent

BRANDON, Fla. -- Callan Foote never has to go far for advice on how to prepare for a career in the NHL.


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The 19-year-old defenseman, who was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning with the No. 14 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, just turns to his father, Adam, who played 19 NHL seasons and won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996 and 2001.

"We're a hockey family through and through with my dad, my mom and my brother," Foote said. "So we're always talking about hockey and my dad is always there to tell us about his experiences in the NHL and offer advice on what we can do to be the best players we can be."

Foote's brother, Nolan, a 17-year-old forward, played alongside him the past two seasons with Kelowna of the Western Hockey League and will be eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft.

Though family issues kept Foote from participating in Lightning development camp in June, he has continued his training during the offseason and hopes the improvements in his game will show during training camp in September.

"I've continued to work on all aspects of my game whether it's improving my skating or just trying to be a smarter player on the ice," he said. "It was disappointing to miss out on development camp because there are so many great coaches and instructors to work with, but I'll be ready for camp, and my goal is to make the team."

Video: The broadcast analyzes Callan Foote's size 16 skate

Last season, Foote led Kelowna defensemen in goals (19), assists (51) and points (70), and had three assists in seven games to help Canada win a gold medal at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship. 

"The staff at Kelowna does a great job, and I had some great teammates there," Foote said. "When I was in position to make things happen offensively, they got the puck to me."

Foote signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Lightning on April 1 and made his professional debut five days later, scoring a goal on the first shot of his first shift with Syracuse of the American Hockey League. 

"It was definitely a great feeling," Foote said. "For that to happen so early in my first game with Syracuse was pretty special. 

"Just getting a taste of the AHL gave me an understanding how much faster the game is and how much more I need to work to play at the highest level. It was a great experience and something that I took into my training during the offseason."

Foote (6-foot-4, 212 pounds) says he has gotten a little heavier as a result of working on his strength, but his skating ability should help him blend in with some of the Lightning's top defensemen, including Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev.

"Being a strong skater is so important, and when you look at the guys on the defense with the Lightning, they are all good skaters," Foote said. "Victor Hedman is one of the best skaters in the world, and he just won the Norris Trophy."

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