Position: Left Wing
Weight: 223 lbs.
2014-15 team: Buffalo
Acquired: Drafted in the 4th round (104th overall) in the 2009 draft
Last year's ranking: 10
Last season Tim Murray listed Marcus Foligno on his list of untouchables while on WGR. Although most people probably don't agree with that, Foligno has carved himself a nice spot for a former fourth-round pick.
At this point, we likely know what Foligno is. He'll probably score around ten goals a year, which may be a bit of a disappointment after his stellar rookie season. However, he's a decent secondary scorer who can get some production on the bottom lines.
His Corsi was decent until this season, but with the type of linemates he had that's not all that special. He's a player that made the Canadian roster for the World Juniors in 2011, and there was a reason for that. Although he's never been an enormous scorer, even in juniors, he's got stellar size, is a hard worker and has more offensive talent than a lot of players who play his style.
Foligno will likely be pencilled in on the third line, possibly alongside Brian Gionta and Sam Reinhart. Who plays center on the third line really depends on how much pressure the Sabres want to put on Jack Eichel and Reinhart. The question with Foligno though, is whether he's worth pushing Johan Larsson down in the lineup. We've seen that Larsson's scoring ceiling is likely higher, but he doesn't produce when he's playing on the fourth line. Could that force Dan Bylsma to move Foligno to the fourth line, or as I've suggested in the past, allow them to move Foligno for a defenseman? (EDIT: And that's even before mentioning Jamie McGinn!)
As I mentioned last year, the Sabres have plenty of young players pushing their way onto the roster, including players who seem fit for a third line role. Murray may decide that toughness is overrated these days, and would like to role four lines of skill players, with the bottom lines featuring young players like Nicholas Baptiste or Justin Bailey. Although we may be a year away from that, it is safe to say that Foligno needs to watch his back.