Could this be Foligno's year?
Image Credit: Ottawa Citizen
I have watched Nick Foligno's career develop for quite some time. Living in Sudbury, I had the privilege of seeing him develop with the Sudbury Wolves, before making the step up to the NHL with the Ottawa Senators. I am a big fan of his work ethic, his exceptional defensive game, and his gritty playing style. Sens fans have come to expect him to score at least a highlight reel goal or two a year, to work the penalty kill effectively, and to shut down some of the league's top players.
There is talk about whether it will be his break-out season almost every year. Let's take a quick look at the statistics:
Year - GP - G - A - P
07-08 45 6 3 9
08-09 81 17 15 32
09-10 61 9 17 26
His offensive numbers have not been overly impressive, although his sophomore season was solid. His offensive potential is definitely there though. That is the reason we're all waiting for him to break out. You can see how nice his hands are, how hard he is willing to work to score a goal, or prevent one from being scored. He's a two-way player with the potential to top 20 goals and 50 points a season. Take a look at the beautiful goals he scored against the Leafs this pre-season (available here and here), or even the beauty he put in against the Habs the other night (which you can check out in the highlights of the game here , but doesn't have a direct link yet).
To quote captain Daniel Alfredsson, from an article on TSN, "He's looked really good this training camp getting to loose pucks and winning battles. The two goals he scored were unbelievable and I wish I could do that." That's huge praise from Alfie, who is an exceptionally talented offensive player. The two goals comment is in reference to the goals he scored against the Habs.
It's obvious he has offensive talent, and with the way he is playing this pre-season, it doesn't seem unlikely that he could break the 20-goal or 50-point plateau.Hopefully he will be healthy all season, as that would go a long way in seeing him reach these numbers. To be realistic, you can expect at least 15 goals and 35 points from him if he's healthy. Let's hope he is ready to achieve the Sens Army's high expectations for him.