As we continue on with draft projections for the New York Rangers, we look at the team filling its biggest need. Here is Kelowna Rockets defenseman Callan Foote.
More than anything, the Rangers need as many young defensemen in the system as they can. While a talented forward may be hard to pass on, a quality defenseman would be even harder. One quality defenseman that may be available for them: Cal Foote.
Son of ex-Colorado Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote, Cal has the ability to be a top 4 defenseman in the NHL. Similar to his father in some ways, and not in many others, he is exactly the type of player the Rangers need: a big, right handed defenseman that can move the puck well and defend with equal ability.
Standing at 6’4 and 210 lbs, Foote is not a Dylan McIlrath 2.0. Sort of an average skater, but not in a detrimental fashion, Foote has a ton of offensive skill and hockey IQ to go with his size. In his last season with Kelowna of the WHL, Cal Foote scored 6 goals and added 51 assists for 57 points.
There aren’t many areas of the game that Foote is weak in. He can play hefty minutes at 5 on 5, will get plenty of powerplay and penalty killing time, and will put up strong offensive and defensive numbers. His style, size and handedness would make him the perfect compliment to Ryan McDonagh or Brady Skjei at some point in the future.
Here you can view most of Cal Foote’s skill set on display:
On the first play, an assist from him, he makes several plays to get the puck to the net, later stepping up to keep the opposition from breaking out shorthanded. The standing poke check eventually leads to the goal. This counts as a secondary assist only, but the goal does not happen without his smart read.
On his goal, Foote shows little reluctance to let his powerful shot go. Even on the previous powerplay, Foote was taking several shots that didn’t connect. Foote’s great size and range allows him to get power on his shots and fire them quickly through screens for goals and tip ins.
As mentioned previously, skating is his most troublesome area, but it isn’t so bad that its truly detrimental to his game. He can also stand to be a little more physical with his big frame. These are also skill sets that he can work on and become better at. Foote is already great at the unteachable aspects of the game, so working on his skating and physicality should be no issue.
There is a possibility that there will be better defenseman available than Foote, but Foote is the most likely one to be around at pick 21. Unless a more talented defenseman, or a quality scoring forward, are available, the Rangers cannot pass on a player like Callan Foote.
Check out this video, courtesy of The Draft Analyst, to see some more highlights from Cal Foote’s latest WHL season.