2018-19 Team: Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
Date of Birth: Nov. 29, 2000
Place of Birth: Denver, Colorado
Ht: 6’3” Wt: 190 lbs.
Position: Left Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2019 first-year eligible
- THW (Mid-season Consensus Rankings): T-29th
- NHL Central Scouting: 26th (Mid-term, NA Skaters)
- ISS Hockey: 26th (March)
- Future Considerations: 49th (Spring)
- McKeen’s Hockey: 28th (Mid-Season)
- Bob McKenzie: 27th (Mid-term)
Nolan Foote, son of former NHLer Adam Foote and the younger brother of Tampa Bay Lightning first-round pick Callen Foote, has seen his stock fall after scoring 19 goals as a 16-year-old for the Kelowna Rockets in the 2016-17 season. In the summer of 2017, most pegged him as a top-10 pick for this draft, but he only managed 13 goals and 40 points in 50 games in 2017-18 and finished this season with 63 points in 66 games, despite being older than most prospects because of his late 2000 birthday.
Foote recorded zero points and was a minus-three in the Rockets’ bid to qualify for the post-season this week, a 5-1 loss to the Kamloops Blazers in a one-game tie-breaker, which didn’t help his stock either. His 63 points rank 14th in the WHL amongst U-19 players, so there’s a chance he won’t be selected in the first round this June.
Being under a point-per-game is underwhelming, but his 36 goals this season are nothing to sneeze at. Foote already has an NHL-ready shot, he reads plays well on both sides of the puck and he has strong leadership qualities. At 6-foot-3 and nearly 200 lbs., the term ‘power forward’ immediately comes to mind. However, he’s not as physical as he could be. He’s certainly not afraid to battle in high traffic areas but given his size, he could be more dominant physically.
With Foote — and most power forwards — there are two questions: how much of a liability is his skating and how much scoring can he provide at the NHL level?
Foote’s skating has improved this season, but it’s still a big question mark, and the main reason some pundits have him outside the top-50. Consistency has been another issue with Foote. In 66 games this season, he was held off the scoresheet 24 times.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Nolan Foote – NHL Draft Projection
Foote could be taken late in the first round of the draft, but the beginning or middle of the second is a more likely scenario at this point.
“A shooter who’s gotten back to shooting. Foot speed and board battles have improved. There’s lots of room to add strength on a big, solid frame.” Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet
“A big strong forward who advances the puck well and has a strong, heavy wrist shot. Very smart player whose strong on his stick and cerebral in his positioning and thinking. Constantly in motion and he leans into his blades and displays crisp edging and can lead entires (sic) with excellent passes and once in the attack zone can make nice saucer dishes to open teammates. – Bill Placzek, Draftsite.com
“Foote has an excellent wrist shot and a very quick release. When teammates have the puck, he finds open areas to get that shot off. When the other team has the puck, he is quick to get in on the forecheck, causing pressure and creating turnovers. Foote also is a good playmaker with puck protection and passing skills. Foote is willing to work in the dirty areas of the ice. He gets to the front of the net and uses his size to create havoc. He also battles well on the forecheck, as well as in his own end of the ice. He could stand to improve his skating over the next several years, however. – Ben Kerr, Last Word on Hockey
- Goal scoring
- Compete Level
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Skating, especially his acceleration
Foote projects as a top-nine winger at the NHL level.
Risk – 1/5, Reward – 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 6.5/10 Defence – 7/10
Foote won a gold medal at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in the summer of 2017, playing mostly with 2018 draft-eligible players. He registered one goal and one assist in five games. He also won a silver medal at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge with Team Canada Black in 2016, a tournament where Canada sends three teams. Foote had two assists in six games.
Foote Interview/Profile Links
Nathan Kanter covers the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs for The Hockey Writers. He received his master’s in journalism from Western University in May of 2015 before serving as the first ever Digital Managing Editor at Western’s university newspaper, The Western Gazette, in 2015-16. From 2016-18, he served as the radio play-by-play voice of the Battlefords North Stars in the SJHL. His work has been published in The Hockey News, at Sportsnet.ca and at Dobber Prospects.