– Nolan Foote –
Kelowna Rockets (WHL) | Left Wing | 2019 NHL Draft Eligible
Denver, Colorado, USA | November 29, 2000 | 6-foot-3, 187-pounds
Heading into the 2017-18 season, Nolan Foote was regarded has a sure top-3 pick for the 2019 NHL Draft. As a late 2000-born prospect, Foote had already played his rookie season as one of the youngest players in the WHL, racking up 19 goals and 35 points in 52 games. His electric shot and understanding of the game were extremely impressive as a 16-year-old.
However, after putting up 13 goals and 40 points in his sophomore season, the hype surrounding Foote has substantially quieted. As a result of Foote’s failure to make major increases in his numbers in ’17-18, the projections of his NHL future vary greatly. Of course, this coming season will serve as a major measuring stick for his draft stock.
- Hockey Sense
Nolan Foote has tremendous size and strength, which played a huge role in allowing him to seamlessly adapt to the WHL in his rookie season. Foote has an excellent sense of the game, reading developing plays and reacting appropriately. His greatest strength comes from his shot, which is quick, powerful, and accurate. Foote came into the league as a shoot-first player, but seemed to shy away from that in ’17-18.
In his sophomore year, Foote’s shooting percentage sat at 10%, a fairly average number which exhibits that he could still be shooting more often. Foote is also a highly competitive player with a motor that rarely slows down. He battles hard for loose pucks and isn’t afraid to use his body in board battles. Further, Foote has above average hands and can make one-on-one moves in tight with the puck.
Of all the traits which could potentially hamper Foote’s progression towards the NHL, it would be his average skating abilities. It isn’t necessarily a weakness, but Foote could certainly add some more speed and agility to his game. This would allow him to rush the puck with more success and be able to handle the puck better at top speeds.
For now, Foote generally finds his success as the trigger-man off of the half wall. A more effective stride would enable Foote to add another element to his game, as well as to improve his 200-foot game. This will be an aware that scouts will key in on during the 2018-19 season as they predict his potential at the NHL level.
Nolan Foote projects to be a top-six winger at the NHL level. While his goal-scoring ability and overall offensive potential remain intriguing, his skating definitely needs improvement in order to become an effective professional player. Foote plays a comparable game to Jake DeBrusk of the Boston Bruins. Heading into the ’18-19 season, Foote looks like a Top-20 pick for the 2019 NHL Draft.