Foote, Russo Help Utica Comets to Best Start in AHL History

UTICA, NY – The Utica Comets entered the Adirondack Bank Center with a chance to make history should they win their 12th straight game but standing in their way were the 2019 Calder Cup Champion Charlotte Checkers. Despite going down early in the contest, the Comets managed to have a second period explosion of goals and rewrote the history books with a 4-1 victory.

The Checkers jumped out to an early lead in the first period, scoring less than two minutes into the game. Checkers forward Max McCormick was in the right place at the right time as he redirected a point shot past Comets’ goaltender Nico Daws. Both teams traded chances for the remainder of the period, but neither were able to find the back of the net. The Comets registered 10 shots on net, compared to eight from the Checkers.

Devils acquire Nolan Foote and First-Round Pick

NEWARK, NJ – The New Jersey Devils today traded forward Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for left wing Nolan Foote and Vancouver’s first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft (previously acquired by Tampa Bay). The condition on the pick is as follows: if Vancouver fails to qualify for the 2020 NHL playoffs, New Jersey shall then receive Vancouver’s first-round selection in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft instead of a first-round selection in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

Foote, 19, is currently serving as captain of Kelowna (WHL) where he has 15 goals and 18 assists for 33 points in 26 games. In December, he helped Team Canada win a gold medal at the World Junior Championships with three goals and two assists in seven contests. For the past two seasons, Foote has been a member of the WHL All-Star team that has participated in the Jr. Super Series where his teammates included Devils’ prospect Ty Smith. The 6’4, 200lb., left shot winger has skated in 194 WHL career games with the Rockets posting 83 goals and 88 assists for 171 points and added 167 penalty minutes. Born November 29, 2000, the native of Denver, Colorado was Tampa Bay’s first round selection, 27th overall in the 2019 NHL Draft.

‘Bullet’ shot makes Foote dangerous weapon for Canada

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — In a do-or-die game where one shot might be the difference between gold and bronze, you dish the puck to Nolan Foote.

He is Team Canada’s weapon – and he will be in the lineup for Saturday’s semifinal against Team Finland after avoiding a suspension following a hit that got him ejected in the first 53 seconds in Thursday’s quarterfinal.

Foote aims to play alongside brother one day with Lightning

BRANDON, FL –  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.”

In their own words: Nolan Foote

TAMPA BAY, FL – Throughout the year, will periodically talk to Lightning players or coaches to get their first-hand account of a critical moment from the season or just what’s on their mind currently.

In this installment, we hear from Nolan Foote, who was selected by the Lightning in the first round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, joining his older brother Cal, a 2017 first round pick of the Bolts, in the organization. Nolan Foote comes to the Lightning from the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL, where he recorded nearly a point a game during the 2018-19 season with 36 goals and 63 points in 66 regular season games. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound power forward is an attractive prospect for the Lightning, Tampa Bay assistant general manager and director of amateur scouting Al Murray saying Foote has a NHL shot right now in an interview after the prospect’s selection. “It’s a quick release. It’s a hard shot,” Murray said from the Rogers Arena draft floor. “He’s a big body who plays with an edge. He’s a good skater, and we think he’s got room to improve.”

Lightning sign 2019 first round pick Nolan Foote to entry level contract

TAMPA BAY, FL – The Tampa Bay Lightning signed forward Nolan Foote to a three-year entry level contract, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today. The Lightning drafted Foote from the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League with the 27th overall pick at the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver, British Columbia this past weekend. Nolan is the younger brother of the Lightning’s 2017 first-round pick Cal Foote and the son of former NHL defenseman Adam Foote.

Nolan Foote Joins Brother as First Round Draft Pick of Lightning

VANCOUVER, BC – Nolan Foote and his older brother, Callan, dreamed of this possibility but never expected it to actually happen.

So when the Tampa Bay Lightning selected Nolan with the No. 27 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on Friday, it brought on a flood of emotions. It meant the Foote brothers have the opportunity to be NHL teammates.

The Lightning selected Callan with the No. 14 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

“Cal and I sharing that moment together was awesome,” Nolan said. “Then, hugging my mom and my dad is a dream come true.”

Nolan, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound forward, and Callan, a 6-4, 221-pound defenseman, are the sons of former NHL defenseman Adam Foote, who won the Stanley Cup twice with the Colorado Avalanche and played 19 seasons with Colorado, the Quebec Nordiques and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Growing the Game’s Best Talent: Nolan Foote

KELOWNA, B.C. – When your father is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion and an Olympic gold medalist while your brother is a first-round selection at the NHL Draft and a gold medalist with Canada at the IIHF World Junior Championship, being the best hockey player in the family is no easy feat.

That’s the challenge facing Kelowna Rockets forward Nolan Foote at the moment. Having only recently turned 18-years-old, the youngest Foote is well-aware of his family’s hockey legacy and eager to prove he belongs in the professional ranks. However, there’s still plenty unfinished business in the Foote’s home of Kelowna.

In terms of introductions to the game of hockey, Nolan has had a rich learning experience.

“Being at the rink and being in the NHL locker rooms, seeing how they prepare themselves or get ready for games or take care of themselves and learning from them, and I got to meet a lot of NHLers,” noted Foote. “It was really good.”

Still, experiences like that can only put you on the track to greatness, still requiring plenty of will to make that dream happen, something Foote has done at each stage of his young hockey career.

As an ‘A’-rated prospect by NHL Central Scouting, the pressure of living up to the expectation of a first-round NHL Draft selection isn’t easy, but Foote has proven his worth and thrived within the challenge. It has also helped that Foote was selected by the same organization and in the same spot, 43rd overall, as his brother was taken two years prior. While the responsibility of getting regular work in professional hockey eventually falls on the player, there’s no denying how crucial WHL teams are in helping with that development.

When it comes to the Kelowna Rockets, they can talk the talk and walk the walk when it comes to showcasing trophies and a long list of alumni in the NHL.

“He’s one of the players that watches a lot of NHL games and so he’s watching what other players do all the time, which is something I think a lot of guys should do,” noted Rockets General Manager Bruce Hamilton. “He’s a student of the game. He understands it and he wants to learn more all the time.

“He watches what other people do and learns from them. He’s really blossoming into the player we all thought he would be. 

While both Cal and Nolan have thrived in their time with the Rockets, Hamilton insists there’s no added pressure from the organization because of their last name and hockey heritage. It’s also not a unique situation to the Rockets, who helped foster the start of Tyson Barrie’s career over 256 WHL regular season games after his father, WHL Alumni Len Barrie, enjoyed a successful professional hockey career.

“I think treating these guys as just who they are, not worrying about what their last name is, is real important,” added Hamilton. “They have enough on their plate because of that as it is. We try not to dwell on that all.”

When it comes to the sport of hockey, Nolan enjoys it at its simplest form in chats with his brother. The pair share a close relationship as siblings and have shared advice, tips, and methods of finding success since ‘day one’ in Foote’s words.

“Seeing Cal get drafted and I was there, being able to watch that was huge for me,” added Foote. “It was a great experience. I’m just looking forward to it and now doing everything I can to be in the same spot as them.”

Foote’s path will lead up to June’s draft and continue into an important year for the Rockets as they prepare to host the 2020 Memorial Cup presented by Kia. After some early-season struggles to begin the 2018-19 WHL Regular Season, the Rockets have atoned for early falters, sitting in a familiar spot near the top of the B.C. Division to begin the unofficial second-half of the season.

“We’re finally getting used to our systems and how we play, getting back to our game plan,” continued Foote. “Things are starting to roll and each night get better and play our systems and know what to do against the opposition.”

Hamilton added that among a group of talented forwards, Foote would be a bigger, stronger leader for the team. Though no family rivalry exists for scoring leaders, a better and faster Nolan Foote playing next season would be able to challenge for the family all-time scoring lead in major junior hockey. Cal holds the mantle at the moment with 163 points compared to 162 for Adam. A big year for Nolan, currently at 107 points, during the Rockets’ run to the Memorial Cup would push him to the top.

“I know he’s really worked hard this summer because he filled out and I think his skating has got better and I think it’s going to get better as he matures as a young man,” noted Hamilton. “He’s still a lean guy. By this time next year, he’ll be 10 or 15 pound heavier and even stronger.

“I think we’re just seeing the early phase of him right now.”