Foligno, 24, was a first round pick of the Senators in the 2006 NHL Entry draft, making his breakthrough to the NHL in the 2007-2008 season. He's been regarded as a hard working and versatile forward who can play up and down in the lineup as needed.
Last season, he had a career high 47 point season (15G, 32A) in 82 games, plus four points (1G, 3A) in the playoffs. He could easily start the season on the Jackets' second line, and could very wellget a chance to move up depending on what happens with Rick Nash.
With the trade of Methot, the Jackets will save ~1.8 million in salary, and a hole has been opened in the defense for Ryan Murray. It looks like the plan is to put him into the NHL as quickly as possible. EDIT: It has been pointed out that Foligno is an RFA, so perhaps not saving so much as that....we'll have to see what happens on that score.
All things considered, it's not a bad move - but who will be getting the tough defensive minutes that Methot previously managed?
Here's a take on Foligno from Scott Davey of The 6th Sens:
Nick's had some growing pains since coming into the league. As a first-round pick I think he's always aspired to be a top-six guy, whereas management and the various coaching staffs haven't always
agreed. I think this past year is the first he's finally figured out what he does well...and doesn't do well.
Early in his career he seemed to believe he could beat guys 1-on-1 and dangle through the defence - it was rarely successful. He definitely matured last year and was generally just making smarter decisions on
the ice. The main thing he figured out was puck management, how to protect the puck when to pass it/when not to pass it. He's not a guy you should expect to be a big goal-scorer, I think with more minutes
and some luck he could be a 20 goal guy. I just think right now his passing instincts are better than his goal-scoring ones. I'd say his skating is average, although he can get going pretty quick in a straight ahead line, sometimes he surprises with his agility, but that' s a rare occasion. His physical game is always something people in Ottawa have seen as wanting as he is capable of throwing big hits.
Again I think this year he silenced those people and played with more "jam", taking on all comers.
He spent a lot of this past year on the third line, and was regularly a guy carrying the puck up the ice - driving play if you will. He can play center as well so that's probably where that skill came from.
Since he wasn't regularly in the top-six you might have to take his offensive numbers with a grain of salt as the qualcomp he faced wasn't great. Still I think with the right line-mates he could play in the
top-six and contribute.
He's not a great power-play option and usually found himself on the second-unit as a playmaker on the half-wall. Maybe he can make it work with better players, but I personally don't see it. He wasn't a regular option on the PK last year, not that I think he couldn't play if ask - his defensive positioning and awareness is usually pretty good, he's more than capable of winning board battles.
Basically he's a well-rounded solid player, but he doesn't really do anything great.
All things considered, I think that Foligno will be a good fit for Columbus, and I wouldn't be shocked to see him operating in a very similar role as R.J. Umberger.