Lightning sign Rockets’ defenceman Cal Foote to three-year, entry-level contract

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The Tampa Bay Lightning put pen to paper with one of their top defensive prospects Sunday, signing Kelowna Rockets captain Cal Foote to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Foote, selected in the first round, 14th overall, by the Lightning in the 2017 NHL Draft, had been a steady presence and offensive force for the Rockets this season en route to them capturing the Western Hockey League’s B.C. Division title for the seventh time in franchise history.

Foote put together a career year with 70 points (19G-51A) and a plus-31 rating in 60 games. He added three power-play goals and three game-winning goals. Those figures were good enough to help him finish sixth in defensive scoring throughout the entire league, third among defencemen in the Western Conference and top defensive scorer in the B.C. Division.

Foote was one of two Kelowna Rockets players selected to play for Canada at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, helping them win gold back in early January 2018. Foote was recently named the 2017-18 Western Conference Defenceman of the Year and is one of two finalists for the Bill Hunter Trophy as the WHL’s Top Defenceman.

Originally selected in the second round, 43rd overall, by the Rockets in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, Foote has played in 202 career WHL regular season games, registering 163 points (33G-130A), a plus-86 rating, as well as 10 power-play goals, one short-handed goal, and five game-winning goals.

In four WHL Playoffs games this year, the 19-year-old product of Engelwood, Colo. finished second on the Rockets in scoring with six points (1G-5A). The 6-foot-4, 210-pound defenceman has 22 points (3G-19A) in 36 career WHL Playoffs games.

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