One thing we love to do at The Cannon is to provide complete analysis of all players from the top to the bottom of the depth chart with the Blue Jackets.
Over the next few days we'll give you some of the details on the newest members of the roster that you will (hopefully) see hit the ice this fall.
First up is Nick Foligno.
Birthplace: Buffalo, NY
2011-12 Stats: 15 G, 32 A, 47 Pts, +2, 124 PIMs
Previous team: Ottawa Senators
Who Columbus gave up: D Marc Methot
Contract: Re-signed to a new three-year deal with Columbus after being acquired.
Strengths: Great defensively and is praised for his work ethic. Should fit perfectly in the locker room with Jack Johnson, James Wisniewski, R.J. Umberger, and newly acquired Brandon Dubinsky.
Weaknesses: Hasn't had quite the breakout year people had hoped for in Ottawa, seems to possess more grit and determination than skill.
The bottom line: Foligno is a welcomed addition to the roster, effectively replacing the likes of Jakub Voracek or Antoine Vermette. With the lack of order in the CBJ forward group, he will have every chance to make a name for himself as a solid top six forward in Columbus. The biggest hurdle for Foligno is without the breakout skill to make plays happen, he may not have enough around him to elevate his game any higher than it was in Ottawa. If he can click with Dubinsky, Umberger, or an offensive dynamo like Cam Atkinson, then you could see him make more of a noticeable impact.
Foligno's improvement has been steady and obvious since he began his pro career. He's never broken 20 goals, but he's been a good complementary player on the second line, and looked even better as a leader on the third line. He seems to be a "tweener" stuck between the second and third line, but he's only 24 years old so there's still plenty of time for him to mature into a good top-six forward.