Nick Foligno’s time in Columbus is over, with the Blue Jackets trading their longtime captain to the Toronto Maple Leafs to chase the Stanley Cup.
Columbus received a 2021 first- and 2022 fourth-round pick from Toronto as part of the three-team trade completed Sunday that also involves the San Jose Sharks. The Blue Jackets added their second first-round pick in as many days for a prominent player while agreeing to retain half of Foligno’s $5.5 million salary-cap hit.
”Given where we are right now, this move made sense for us as an organization and for Nick,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said.
Toronto also acquired forward Stefan Noesen from San Jose, which got a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft for retaining 25% of Foligno’s salary.
It’s a similar trade to the one Columbus made Saturday by sending defenseman David Savard to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a first-rounder this year and third-rounder next year. The Blue Jackets are stockpiling high draft picks by selling ahead of the NHL trade deadline after falling out of playoff contention.
Foligno, 33, has seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 42 games this season. He has been the captain of the Blue Jackets for the past six seasons.
”Nick Foligno has been everything you’d want in a captain, in a representative of your team and ambassador for your community,” Kekalainen said. ”His contributions to the Blue Jackets franchise and the impact he and his family have had off the ice is immeasurable.”
Foligno, whose father played parts of four seasons for Toronto, gives the North Division-leading Maple Leafs some grit and experience up front. They have failed to get out of the first round with this core and welcome Foligno’s 51 games of Stanley Cup playoff experience.
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