Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Trade: Maple Leafs add Nick Foligno; Blue Jackets get first-rounder; Sharks involved

Trade: Maple Leafs add Nick Foligno; Blue Jackets get first-rounder; Sharks involved

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 2: Nick Foligno #71 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the Detroit Red Wings on March 2, 2021 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

In another big, three-team trade involving a Blue Jackets player and picks, Columbus netted another first-round pick (among others), the Maple Leafs landed Nick Foligno, and the Sharks helped make the money work for a fee. The Maple Leafs confirmed the Nick Foligno trade shortly after word surfaced.

Stefan Noesen is also going to the Maple Leafs in the Nick Foligno trade.

Maple Leafs trade for Foligno; Blue Jackets get picks; Sharks involved

Maple Leafs receive: Nick Foligno (at 25-percent of his salary) and Stefan Noesen.

Blue Jackets receive: Maple Leafs’ 2021 first-round pick and 2022 fourth-rounder. Blue Jackets retain 50-percent of Nick Foligno’s salary (according to reports, including that of Cap Friendly).

Sharks receive: Maple Leafs’ 2021 fourth-rounder for absorbing another portion of Nick Foligno’s salary in the trade.

To clarify the salary cap implications, Cap Friendly breaks it down:

Again, the Nick Foligno trade isn’t the only significant, three-team trade orchestrated by Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen. He also landed a package including a first-round pick for David Savard. In both cases, salary cap juggling was involved:

Strong work from CBJ; TOR gets a playoff-ready player

First things first: this is great work by the Blue Jackets. As much of a mess as this season has been, they’ve sold two expiring contracts for first-round picks, and additional selections. They didn’t need to trade someone like Seth Jones or Zach Werenski to “reload, not rebuild.”

In a tough 2021 NHL Trade Deadline market, that’s strong work.

It’s easy to see where the Maple Leafs are coming from in the Foligno trade too, though.

[2021 NHL Trade Deadline Primer: More on Nick Foligno]

Old-school types will throw out “intangibles,” and they’re true. Foligno is the sort of gritty forward who can help you during playoff runs, and he wore the “C” with Columbus.

But he’s more than that ... or at least the intangibles translate to positive impacts that are, well, “tangible.” When you dig into analytics, Nick Foligno often comes up as a stealth Selke candidate. (His brother Marcus Foligno also surfaces.)

Is a low-scoring, big-defense forward worth the price of the Foligno trade for the Maple Leafs? That will probably hinge on something Foligno can only do so much about: how far Toronto goes in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“Nick Foligno has been everything you’d want in a captain, in a representative of your team and ambassador for your community. His contributions to the Blue Jackets franchise and the impact he and his family have had off the ice is immeasurable,” said Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen. “We are grateful for everything he, Janelle, and their family have done for and with us over the past nine years. Given where we are right now, this move made sense for us as an organization and for Nick.”

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.