The Coyotes have a lot of talented forwards in their prospect system, however, the team definitely needs to improve on defense, both immediately and in the long-term.
Defensemen typically take longer to develop and aren’t as easy to predict outside of the top-end talent. That makes using the seventh overall pick on a defenseman a huge gamble, however, there are definitely some future good players.
Callan Foote – Flash Stats
WHL Kelowna Rockets - 142 Games - 14 Goals - 79 Assists - 93 Points - 55 PIM - Plus/Minus 55
A native from Englewood, Colorado, Callan Foote is a highly ranked defensive prospect whose size is going to make some GMs salivate. At 6’ 3” and 209 pounds, Foote most likely won’t need any time to develop himself physically before playing in the NHL, although he still needs time to develop his game.
Foote is an aggressive, two-way defenseman who is able to generate offense in Juniors. Surprisingly his game isn’t described as overly physical on the ice, which suggests that he isn't using his size to win against smaller players, and thus likely won’t have a big adjustment when he isn’t able to do that against larger players in the NHL.
With regards to Foote’s game, he is solid in most aspects of play. He can play 5 on 5, on the power play, and on the penalty kill, and is able to generate offense. He’s a solid playmaker and he isn’t particularly weak in any aspect of his game, other than more time to develop in general. His skating isn’t the best, but it isn’t anywhere near bad, and his ceiling is probably a top-four defenseman.
Foote has an intangible that a lot of GMs would find appealing, and it is that he is the son of an NHL player, former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote. The Coyotes in the past have been a fan of drafting players who are the sons of former NHLers, and there are a few noticeable names on the current Yotes roster who are second generation NHL players.
So, should the Coyotes’ take a run at Foote?
The highest ranking for by a prospect rating is 12th, and some ratings have him as low as 30th, so I think there are definitely better players ahead of him and players with higher ceilings for the Coyotes’ first pick, so I don’t think he would be the right player to get. If he is still available when the Coyotes pick at 23rd, he probably would be a good choice for a defenseman who won’t need a lot of time to develop.