By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney continues his busy start to the 2021 NHL Free Agency period as he signs forward Nick Foligno to a two-year contract worth $3.8 million per season. This comes on the same day as Sweeney signing defenceman Derek Forbort and forwards Tomas Nosek and Erik Haula, further adding to Boston’s bottom-six depth.
Foligno, 33, more so known as the captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets for six seasons (2015-2021), ending his 2020-2021 campaign with the Toronto Maple Leafs after being acquired by the Maple Leafs at this past Trade Deadline. In only seven games with Toronto, Foligno put up four points (all assists) and another one point during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Prior to being traded to Toronto, Foligno put up consistent 30-point seasons for the Blue Jackets – highlighted by a 73-point campaign back in the 2014-15 season. Known more as a power-forward type of player, the six-foot, 211-pound Foligno led Columbus in hits throughout the last three full years combined (2017-2020) with 569 hits total in that time span.
In an interview with TSN following the signing, Nick Foligno stated “I just think it was the right fit. … You just kind of follow your gut and talking with Patrice [Bergeron] and Don Sweeney, it felt like the place I was going to have the most impact”, further explaining that his daughter has had “life-saving” surgeries at Boston Children’s Hospital and that played a factor into signing with the Bruins.
The addition of Nick Foligno to Boston’s bottom-six creates an apparent logjam, centered around 2015 first-round draft pick, Jake DeBrusk. As of the time this article is being published, the Bruins’ bottom-six forward core looks something along the lines of this without DeBrusk pictured:
Nick Foligno – Charlie Coyle – Erik Haula
Trent Frederic – Tomas Nosek – Curtis Lazar
Extra: Wagner, Kuhlman, Blidh
Not to mention, there will likely be a battle for a roster spot by some prospects and potential invites to the Bruins’ Development Camp, so there is no shortage of bodies to fill out the bottom half of the roster. Jake DeBrusk has had clear struggles over the past couple of seasons, largely due to his inconsistency. Whether the Bruins want to try and shop the 24-year-old for draft capital, prospects, or to fill a need of another left-shot defenceman.
Don Sweeney is not messing around, but there is still work to do.