Cal Foote ready for Lightning exhibition debut
Just three months ago, defenseman Cal Foote was getting his name called in the first round of the NHL Draft.
And now Foote, 18, is preparing for another milestone, his first NHL exhibition tonight. The Lightning hosts Carolina at 7:30 p.m.
"Kind of a dream my whole life, my whole childhood," Foote said. "So it’s going to be a fun moment, that’s for sure."
Foote, son of long-time NHL defenseman Adam Foote, said both of his parents will be in town for the game. He's wearing No. 52, his dad's number.
"He pretty much taught me everything I know about the game," Foote said. "To be arond him, he's helped me a ton. I'm very fortunate."
Foote said there have been a few eye-opening moments in his first NHL training camp, but is feeling more comfortable every day. The key for the 6-foot-4 defenseman is improving his quickness.
"He looks good - you can see why he's a first-rounder," Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness said. "He moves laterally very well. He reads the play, moves the puck well. He seems to be very poised out there. He just needs to keep playing."
Foote is one of many young prospects in the Lightning lineup tonight. There's Taylor Raddysh, Anthony Cirelli, Alex Volkov, Alexey Lipanov, Boris Katchouk, Libor Hajek. Some of the veterans are J.T. Brown, Cedric Paquette, Andrej Sustr, Cory Conacher and Vladislav Namestnikov. "They better realize they're fighting for ice time," Bowness said. "They've got to be on the top of their game. Nobody is being given anything."
Carolina brought several veterans on the trip, including Justin Williams (whom the Lightning pursued in free agency), Jaccob Slavin, Teuvo Teravainen.
*Some Lightning lines for tonight: Conacher-Namestnikov-Volkov/Brown-Dumont-Paquette/Raddysh-Lipanov-Katchouk/Erne-Peca-Cirelli.
The game will not be on TV, but will be aired on 970-AM.