Lightning Continue To Add To Blue Line Depth
Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said that the Bolts would draft on the “best available” player on the board. However, he did admit that with all things being equal, the pick could be used to fill a need. Despite the acquisition of right handed defenseman Mikhail Sergachev in the Jonathan Drouin deal, a defined need for the Bolts was a right handed defenseman.
The Bolts may have been able to draft best available and need by selecting right handed defenseman Cal Foote with the 14th pick. If the name seems familiar, it’s because it is. Foote, is the son of former 20-year NHL veteran Adam Foote.
The 6’4 214 pound Foote has spent the last two years playing with the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL. He’s appeared in 142 games, scoring 14 goals and tallying 93 points, while posting a +55 rating. He was ranked the 12th in the draft among North American skaters by Central Scouting Bureau and No. 20 by TSN in its final ratings.
A common theme among the pre-draft scouting reports is his hockey sense and instincts. Elite Prospects wrote that his hockey sense is outstanding, and his ability to not just read but star and, on the odd occasion, finish plays is overtly indicative of his high talent level.
The Hockey Writers wrote that the kid has very strong instincts of what to do and where to go on the ice, to the point where it’s almost spooky. Because of these instincts, he’s incredibly steady and doesn’t get caught out of position a lot.
The Lightning have five picks remaining in the draft. Their next pick will be number 48 (from Toronto). They also hold the 76th pitch in the 3rd round, the 169th pick sixth and the 180th pick (from Montreal), and the 200th pick in the 7th round.