In his second season with the Boston Bruins, Nick Foligno found his role on the team and became an integral component to the fourth line.
Foligno didn’t have the best start to his time in Boston during the 2021-22 season. He was coming off of some nagging injuries and only recorded two goals all season. Fans felt he didn’t come as advertised – and was more of a letdown with the price tag he came with than anything else.
But that changed for 2022-23 season.
His veteran leadership was felt on and off the ice. “Uncle Nick” became a leader in the locker room and a leader for the bottom-six forwards.
The beginning of the season was injury free for the forward who brought a sense of reliability to the fourth line, working well with Tomas Nosek and whoever else floated onto the line. He seemed to finally find his groove and stepped up his production.
Foligno had six multi-point games during the season. He had two great stretches of point productions. First he had six points in six games from Nov. 17 to Nov. 29 with one goal and five assists. Then in February, Foligno registered two goals and three assists in four games.
He registered 10 goals and 16 assists for 26 points. While it wasn’t a career-high for him, it was a huge improvement from the previous year and added to his line’s consistent play each night.
Plus, the veteran was a nice addition to the second power play unit during the season. He picked up five power play points including two goals.
Unfortunately, Foligno was injured on Feb. 28 and missed the remainder of the regular season. He was out 22 games in total with a knee injury.
The Bruins were plagued with some big injuries at the end of the year which didn’t bode well for players returning for the playoffs.
Foligno drew back in for the playoffs, playing in Games 1 through 6. He registered three points on one goal and two assists in Games 2 to 4 of the series.
Nick Foligno buries Boston's fourth goal in transition.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 22, 2023
Great play all around by DeBrusk and Hall.
4-0 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/CYI4FuzOEz
But then he didn’t put up any points the rest of the series and was a healthy scratch for the Bruins’ overtime loss in Game 7 to the Florida Panthers. It seemed like he had a hard time fully recovering from his injury during playoffs, and along with a plethora of others what ifs with the Bruins for the series, you have to wonder what might have been if he was healthy. It definitely wouldn’t have been a deciding factor on the series, but it could have helped.
In June, Foligno and Taylor Hall were traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. Foligno signed a one-year deal worth $4 million with the team.
The Bruins were going to have a hard time keeping Foligno around and signing him to a contract like that with their cap space crunch. He would have likely had to take a salary cut to stay.
While he’s no longer a Bruin, it’s safe to say he turned the page during last season and proved why the Bruins wanted him in the first place.
Nick Foligno Highlight Goal in 2022-23: