Sunday, April 11, 2021

NHL Trade Review: Leafs bring in Columbus Captain Foligno


 

       The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired forward Nick Foligno from the Columbus Blue Jackets in a three team deal with the San Jose Sharks. Toronto also brought in forward Stefan Noesen from San Jose, while trading a 2021 1st round pick and a 2022 4th to Columbus, and a 2021 4th round pick to the Sharks. The Blue Jackets retained 50% of Foligno's salary, while the Sharks retained 25%, or 50% after the half from the Blue Jackets. 

This is a confusing trade, but it is very similar to a trade made by Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen yesterday, as he sent David Savard to Tampa Bay through Detroit. While it could be argued that Savard should have netted a first round pick and a third round pick, Foligno should not have fetched up that much. He has great leadership qualities, as he captained the Blue Jackets, and is solid defensively, but still not worth over a first round pick. Foligno only scored more than 20 goals twice in his career, most recently in 2016-17. He is a physical player, but better suited for a third line role. The Maple Leafs will likely move him to the second line, so he could play with John Tavares and William Nylander, a hole that the Leafs have had for a long time. Toronto has little cap space, so by adding the Sharks into this trade, they only take on 25%, or $1.375 million of Foligno's $5.5 million cap hit. They also get Noesen in this trade. He is a former first round pick who has bounced around in the NHL, but has mostly been in the AHL this year. 

Foligno, 33, has scored seven goals with nine assists for 16 points in 42 games with 109 hits for the Blue Jackets this year. In his NHL career for Columbus and the Ottawa Senators Foligno has scored 203 goals with 279 assists for 482 points with 2030 hits in 950 games. 

Noesen, 28, has no points in five NHL games this year, and two goals with four assists for six points in 12 games for the AHL's San Jose Barracuda. In his NHL career for the Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks, Noesen has scored 31 goals with 24 assists for 55 points in 204 games. 

There are no more players left in the deal, but still plenty of value. Most of that goes to the Blue Jackets, who add their third first round pick of this year's draft, including their own and Tampa Bay. Foligno is one of the best players in franchise history, finishing third in games played, goals, assists and points. He fell just one game shy of 600 in a Blue Jackets uniform. Getting a first round pick for Foligno, a pending UFA, is robbery by Kekalainen. They do have to take back some of Foligno's salary, for $2.75 million. 

The Sharks are in the exact same boat as the Red Wings were yesterday. They have to take on a few hundreds of thousand dollars more than Detroit did, but they still receive a 4th round pick for what feels like pennies on the dollar. Noesen has played 4th line minutes for them, but he is not worth a fourth round pick, so they get a good deal. 

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