Position: Left Wing
Weight: 223 lbs.
Acquired: Taken in the fourth round (104th overall) in the 2009 draft
2013-14 team: Buffalo
Last year's ranking: 9
When Marcus Foligno was first called up to Buffalo, he had a stellar time scoring points. He was nearly a point a game player, notching 13 points in 14 games. However, he hasn't really come close to that since. Does he still have a chance to evolve into a 15-20 goal scorer?
Honestly, probably not. He was never really that big of a goal scorer even at the Junior level. Throughout his career he's been known to score goals at big moments, but the focus of Foligno is on the other things that he does. He's a physical presence and a high-energy player. He fits the bill for a player that's projected to play in a third-line role.
On a team with few big faces the past couple of years Foligno has become a fan favorite. Whether that's because of his play or his last name is up for you to decide.
He's advanced stats are decent, but his point totals are just not where you'd really want to be. For Foligno to really be a part of the future plans of the team he needs to up the production. There is a flood of young forwards that seem primed for a third line position in the future, including players like Hudson Fasching, Johan Larsson, and JT Compher. If he doesn't improve Foligno could see himself being passed by some of the young guys.
I don't want to be too down on Foligno. He does have his strong points. He's shown a very solid ability to use his size and is willing to fight, deliver a big hit, or lay down for a blocked shot. His issue has been a lack of living up to expectations, due to being Mike Foligno's son, playing very well for Canada at the World Juniors, and the first 14 games of his career. He may never be the tough goalscorer that some wished he would be, but that doesn't render him useless.
Foligno has exited the prospect zone. He's proved that he is at least an NHL player, but he still needs to progress a bit further if he hopes to be a piece of a top tier team. If he doesn't progress any further he will be a suitable NHLer, which when you consider he was a fourth round pick certainly isn't the worst thing in the world.
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