Where Does Nick Foligno Fit In the Toronto Maple Leafs Lineup?

Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets (Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets (Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Jul 13, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas   Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Flashback to February 2020, the mood surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise was not overwhelmingly positive.

The memories of the hot streak following the immediate dismissal of Mike Babcock began to feel more and more distant by the day, as it was supplanted by a stretch of extreme inconsistency, with Kyle Dubas using “Jekyll and Hyde” as the theme of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the days leading up to the trade deadline.

Arguably no two games vindicated Dubas’ sentiment more than when the Leafs were able to orchestrate their best game of the season, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 at home, and subsequently falling to the Carolina Hurricanes in the infamous “David Ayres” game two days later.

Executives around the league would agree the team dictates what the general manager elects to do at the trade deadline, and in that, it was clear that iteration of the Toronto Maple Leafs was not deserving of an aggressive Kyle Dubas.

Leafsnation was hoping for additions on the blueline. None came.

Months later, we learned of a meeting between Zach Bogosian and the Leafs – where the New York native would come to Toronto a year early – that was cancelled.

Management was not ready to commit to the team.

But not this season.

The playoffs are a lock. First place in the North division almost feels like a lock. This team is ready to contend, and they showed as such to Dubas. In the 10 games prior to the deadline, the Leafs managed a 9-0-1 record, ready for any additions brought in.

Riley Nash, David Rittich, and Ben Hutton were some of the depth insurance options acquired in the days leading up to (and on) April 12th, but the crown jewel of the bunch comes in the form of former Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno.

With Foligno expected to make his Toronto Maple Leafs debut sometime this week, let’s examine what the veteran of 950 regular season games, plus another 51 in the postseason, is bringing to the Leafs lineup and where he should slot in.