The Columbus Blue Jackets made a run toward the playoffs that surprised nearly everyone in the hockey world, and they did so with very little star power. As they look to be even better next season, they will need the same contributions from all of their role players as well as a star turn from Marian Gaborik. One player who had a good season in his first with the team was Nick Foligno, who can be even better next season.
Foligno had scored 14 or more goals in three of four seasons with the Ottawa Senators before coming to the Blue Jackets, and that kind of production could quickly put him near the top of the Blue Jackets’ scoring leaderboard. Foligno finished fifth on the team this season with six goals and 19 points, while playing in 45 out of 48 games. He didn’t find himself racking up the penalty minutes the way he used to with the Senators, either, and if that trend continues it should open him up to more quality scoring chances.
The Blue Jackets got one goal and three points from Foligno on the power play, and special teams performance is one area the veteran winger could still improve. As the Blue Jackets add more and more young players into the mix in coming season, the strong veteran presence of players like Foligno and Vinny Prospal will be a huge benefit. Foligno finished the season on a line with R.J. Umberger and young center Ryan Johansen, and the 19 combined goals for those three players is something that needs to increase. Foligno was a great addition this season, but he can do even more next season as the Blue Jackets look to prove this season wasn’t a fluke.