By: Melanie DaSilva | Follow me on Twitter: @meldasilva9
Nick Foligno has been praised for his leadership throughout the 2021-22 season by Boston Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy, and now he is getting recognized for it.
The National Hockey League announced its 32 nominees for the 2021-22 King Clancy Memorial Trophy on Wednesday, with Foligno as the Boston Bruins’ nominee.
The trophy is presented to the player who “best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.” The award is named after Frank “King” Clancy, a beloved figure in the NHL as a player, referee, coach, manager, and goodwill ambassador.
Nominees are selected by their NHL teams. The winner is chosen by a committee of senior NHL executives, who focus on commitment to a particular cause or community, engagement and influence, and a clear and measurable impact on the community.
The last Bruins nominee to win the award was Patrice Bergeron in 2013. Other Bruins winners include Dave Poulin (1993) and Ray Bourque (1992).
Foligno joined Boston ahead of this season and, according to the team, has actively been involved in n philanthropic efforts both locally and nationally throughout the entire season. This year he has participated in every virtual visit the Bruins hosted with local children’s hospitals and the annual holiday toy shopping event.
To add to his off-ice resume, Foligno and his wife, Janelle, founded The Heart’s Playbook Foundation in 2020 in honor of their daughter Milana, who’s been battling heart complications since she was born. The Foundation helps families find the best care for their children who are battling heart problems.
“Milana’s journey has taught us a lot. It’s identified the important need for congenital heart defect research and heart research in general, which has spearheaded our efforts to make a difference for those battling heart disease. Our mission is to live a heart-healthy life. Not only for Milana but for ourselves and others. We strive to create a family foundation that can grow as we do. It’s important for us to give back through philanthropy and show our children the positive impact it can have to their communities,” the foundation’s website reads.
Foligno previously revealed that Boston Children’s Hospital played a big role in him signing with the Bruins because his daughter had “her life saved there.”
Two weeks after Milana was born, the Foligno family was flown to Boston Children’s Hospital, where surgeons performed her first open-heart surgery. She was not even a month old at the time and was the 17th person (and the youngest) in the world to have had this specific procedure on her heart — which required the use of a Melody Valve device that would function as her heart’s largest valve.
The Foligno family participated in Heart Health Night at TD Garden last month, where they provided gift bags to heart health patients and heart-healthy recipes they shared throughout the game. His wife’s book “Dear Heart,” signed by the family, was available at the ProShop, with all proceeds benefiting the Boston Bruins Foundation and the Heart’s Playbook Foundation.
Foligno and the rest of the Bruins look to tie their first-round Stanley Cup playoffs series Wednesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes at 7 p.m.