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Foote aims to play alongside brother one day with Lightning

Forward, son of NHL defenseman, was No. 27 pick in 2019 Draft

by Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent

BRANDON, Fla. -- Nolan Foote got his first taste of Florida in the final week of June while participating in Tampa Bay Lightning development camp after he was selected in the first round (No. 27) in the 2019 NHL Draft last month.

"It's hot here," Foote said.

Luckily, Foote spent most of his time in Florida on the ice, where he could avoid the heat but not the power skating drills taught by instructor Tracy Sutton.

"The legs are sore," Foote said. "Really sore, but that's what you want."

Video: Lightning draft F Nolan Foote No. 27

The 18-year-old forward will eventually get past the sore legs, but it might be a long time before he's over the feeling he had when he was drafted into the same organization that selected his brother, Callan Foote, with the No. 14 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Callan, a 20-year-old defenseman who had 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists) with Syracuse in the American Hockey League last season, was at the NHL Draft in Vancouver to enjoy Nolan's special moment with their father, Adam Foote, who was a defenseman in the NHL for 19 seasons and won the Stanley Cup twice with the Colorado Avalanche (1996 and 2001).

"We were just so happy," Nolan Foote said during development camp. "[Cal and I] hugged each other after I did all my media and we were just like, there's no way this just happened."

Now Foote's goal is to share an NHL locker room with his big brother. After signing a three-year, entry-level contract with the Lightning on June 25, Foote is likely headed back to junior hockey to play for Kelowna of the Western Hockey League. But he believes he'll be playing in the NHL soon after that.

"I'll probably be in Kelowna again this year and hopefully I'll make Tampa Bay after that," Foote said. "That's my goal, to make it next year. Hopefully that's the case, if not I'll go to Syracuse for a year to develop.

"Obviously I hope Cal makes [the Lightning] this year, I think he's putting in a lot of hard work."

Foote (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) increased his production the past two seasons at Kelowna. He finished the 2018-19 season with 63 points (36 goals, 27 assists) in 66 games.

Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois said Foote has all the attributes and the skill set to be a consistent scoring presence.

"You can see his shot is phenomenal," BriseBois said. "It's high, it's hard. That's a good weapon to have. I think he's going to be a goal-scorer.

"He's going to be a player that can quickly get the puck in the net when it's on his stick. He's a big body so he should be able to win battles on the boards as he gets bigger and stronger."

Next up for Foote is a summer of training in Montreal with his brother and continuing to progress as a skater under trainer Barb Underhill. His mindset coming out of developmental camp is to set lofty goals and keep working.

"You finally got drafted," Foote said. "Now the hard work begins."

 

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