TAMPA — The Lightning retained an important piece of their future Thursday when they re-signed defenseman Cal Foote.
Tampa Bay’s first-round pick in the 2017 draft and No. 14 overall agreed to a two-year, one-way deal with an average annual value of $850,000, the team announced in a news release.
Foote made his NHL debut in January and skated in 35 regular-season games. He had a goal and two assists to go with a plus-9 plus-minus rating. He did not play in the postseason after Tampa Bay acquired David Savard from Columbus just before the trade deadline.
General manager Julien BriseBois said recently he expects Foote to move into a bigger role this season, even with the addition of free-agent acquisition Zach Bogosian on Wednesday.
Coaches and front office staff were impressed with how prepared Foote looked in training camp, earning him a roster spot. The presence of veteran defensemen such as Ryan McDonagh and Norris Trophy finalist Victor Hedman will help further with Foote’s development, too.
Foote saw the most ice time this past season in the third pairing, with Mikhail Sergachev.
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