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Lightning defense prospect Callan Foote plans to make own mark

Son of two-time Cup winner Adam Foote says he plays different style than father

by Corey Long / Correspondent

BRANDON, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Lightning defense prospect Callan Foote has learned to embrace the comparisons to his father, Adam, but the No. 14 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft also is quick to say that he plays a different style.

Adam Foote, who was selected by the Quebec Nordiques with the No. 22 pick in the 1989 draft, was a stay-at-home defenseman known for his physical, gritty play as part of two Stanley Cup championship teams with the Colorado Avalanche. Callan Foote considers himself more of a "modern defenseman" with a two-way skill set that fits in well with changes in the game in recent years.

"I understand you have to compare us and talk about both of us," the 18-year-old said Tuesday after the Lightning opened development camp. "We're totally different players. The game has changed. I feel like I [have] more of an offensive game. I take pride in playing defense, I try to have good positioning, but I also like to add to the offense."

Video: Lightning draft D Callan Foote No. 14

Callan Foote was born in Adam's eighth NHL season, and he was 2 years old in 2001 when Foote helped the Avalanche win the Cup for the second time in six seasons. 

"Apparently, I was in the stands. I remember the seats actually," he said. "Apparently, my dad threw his helmet to my mom, so that's a cool memory. But I don't remember much, to be honest."

Foote is known as a puck-moving defenseman, as his 51 assists in 71 games this season with Kelowna of the Western Hockey League would indicate. He's also a right-handed shot, filling a need in the Lightning organization, and he joins a group of promising defense prospects that includes recent trade acquisitions Erik Cernak and Mikhail Sergachev.

Foote, who is 6-foot-4, 215 pounds and wears a size 16 skate, spent much of his first day doing drills and working with skating specialist Barb Underhill. Foote said that his development plan is to continue to work on his skating and to increase strength in his core and upper body.

"It's good to get that first taste of the NHL," he said of his first experience with the Lightning. "I'm just going to stay positive, have fun and enjoy the moment. Use this opportunity to try and get better."

Video: Steve talks with Cal Foote

Tampa Bay director of player development Stacy Roest said that he expects Foote's skating will continue to improve as he works with Underhill this week and goes through the development program that will be created for him.

"I think we take our testing from the [NHL Scouting Combine] and the testing we do here and that tells us what every player needs to work on," Roest said. "[Foote] thinks the game really well, moves the puck, can shoot, can pass it. His skating needs to come along, and it will. "

Foote likely will play another season in Kelowna, where he is teammates with his younger brother, Nolan, a 16-year-old forward who will be eligible for the draft in 2019. He said he has not spent much time in Tampa outside of the airport and the hotel but is looking forward to seeing Amalie Arena this week and playing there in the near future.

"This is my first time in Tampa," Foote said. "I'm looking forward to going downtown and seeing the rink and all that. Tampa has been a huge success. They barely missed the playoffs last year. It's cool to come into a spot where they know how to win."

Video: Callan and Adam Foote on joining the Lightning

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