After years of hoping for a breakout season from the Senators’ 2006 first round pick, expectations for Nick Foligno have been somewhat tempered as it didn’t appear he would ever be able to break into a top-6 role on a consistent basis. Thus, his role appeared to be pigeonholed into a solid third line winger who could put up 30-35 points.
After getting the opportunity to play on the Senators’ second line with Kyle Turris and Daniel Alfredsson, Foligno developed a chemistry with his linemates and set career best stats. The highlights included a 1G, 2A effort against the Boston Bruins in a 5-3 loss in November, as well as a 3 assist performance in an 8-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 24th.
It was a frustrating start for the winger/sometimes centre as he struggled to find his place in the system. He had only 3 points in his first 12 games before his breakout Boston game.
Playing in all 82 games (1 of only 3 players to do so), Foligno scored 15 goals and added a career high 32 assists to set a career high of 47 points. He was also 3rd on the team with 124 penalty minutes, more than doubling his previous high.
Foligno found his long-coveted spot as a top-6 forward on the Senators. However, the RFA will be looking for a new contract this off-season and will be in tough to keep his role with the presence of Mark Stone, Mika Zibanejad and Jacob Silfverberg likely to fight for the same roles next season. However, given his performance and willingness to play a messy role at times, my grade for Nick Foligno is: