The Maple Leafs like the idea of ‘like father like son’ when it comes to playoff impact trades.
Sunday afternoon, about 21 hours before the NHL trade deadline, they pulled off a three-team deal with San Jose that brought in forward Nick Foligno from the Columbus Blue Jackets. The son of Mike, who was a big part of Toronto’s fabled 1993 post-season run, is another big body to give the team a presence when games get up close and physical. It’s a sign this year’s first-place Leafs are all in for an anticipated long run.
Like his father, Nick Foligno was a star player for the Sudbury Wolves. The Folignos live in Sudbury during the off season.
Foligno, and Sharks’ forward Stefan Noesen, came at a cost of Toronto’s first-round pick this year and a fourth in 2022, while San Jose gets the Leafs’ fourth in ‘21. Columbus will retain 50 per cent of Foligno’s contract, San Jose the rest.
The 33-year-old Foligno, part of the Columbus crew that wore the Leafs down in last summer’s five-game series, played 42 games this year, recording seven goals and nine assists. In 950 career games between Columbus and Ottawa (which made him a first overall pick in 2006) he has 482 points and 22 in 51 playoff games. Foligno won both the Mark Messier Leadership Award and King Clancy Trophy in 2016-17.
Noesen, 28, split this season between the Sharks and the AHL Barracuda. In 204 career NHL games, the Plano, Texas native has 54 points. He’s another ex-Ottawa pick.
Mike Foligno, now an NHL scout with New Jersey and a former Wolves coach, was famous for his trademark post-goal jump celebrations.