Toronto Maple Leafs: Early breakdown of Nick Foligno trade

Nick Foligno #71 of the Columbus Blue Jackets gets set to take a faceoff against the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Nick Foligno #71 of the Columbus Blue Jackets gets set to take a faceoff against the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Well, after weeks of hearing about the possibility, Nick Foligno is now a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Kyle Dubas pulled off what many deem to be the Leafs “big move” heading into the trade deadline trading for the Columbus Blue Jackets captain in a three-team trade. Here are the details of what Toronto gave up in the deal.

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Seeing the Leafs pay a first-round pick for Foligno is a clear sign that Dubas is not messing around. This is the type of deal many contenders make when they are ready to push their chips to the middle of the table.

There was a lot of salary cap shenanigans that went towards making this deal a possibility. The price the Leafs paid also had something to do with the Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks retaining salary in this deal.

Like most top teams, Toronto is pretty much at the salary cap limit and that’s why adding a player was going to take some maneuvering and since they didn’t give up a roster player or a top prospect, the first-round pick was the price. Some might not see this deal as being enough to put this team over the edge but clearly, Foligno provides something the team needs.

Here is a look at how Foligno fits this team.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Nick Foligno provides versatility and experience

When you see a former Hart Trophy winner like Taylor Hall available on the market, you think that would play more up the avenue of a big splash for the Leafs.

Instead, Dubas opted to go with the player who brings different elements to this lineup. This was clear when you see how Foligno helped the Blue Jackets beat the Leafs in the playoffs last year (although other players including Pierre-Luc Dubios and Joonas Korpisalo had a role in that as well), as he thrives on the slow, grind it out style that comes with playoff hockey.

You also wonder if playing with more offensively capable players not named Alexandre Texier and Boone Jenner will provide him with a chance to improve on his offensive production. It’s always tough to predict where the Leafs will go with their lines but you have to think Foligno will slot with John Tavares and William Nylander allowing Zach Hyman to stay on the top line.

This is a rare opportunity the Leafs have in front of them right now, and this trade for Foligno suggests that Dubas is trying to maximize their window this season.

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What are your thoughts on the Foligno trade? Did the Leafs pay too much or was it the right price given what he provides? Let us know in the comments below.