a·cu·men [ak-yuh-muhn] noun: keen insight; shrewdness

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Thursday, 21 March 2013

03/21/13 Trade Targets: Marcus Foligno

So there's a fire sale going on in Buffalo and some savvy teams might just be able to snag some talent off their underachieving roster. Oilers fans have long had their sights set on defenseman Tyler Myers, but there's another name in Buffalo that could be of interest: Marcus Foligno.

First thing's first: I highly recommend that you click that link above if you haven't already, it's pretty funny.

Hyperbole aside, it looks like there could be a major shakeup in Buffalo and no player is safe. The Oilers are looking for a forward who could step into their top nine and bring a physical element, energy and a little offense. Foligno is that type of player.

The brother of Nick Foligno, Marcus is a 6'3", 226 pound left winger who will turn 22 years old in August. 2013 is Marcus Foligno's second pro season, which he has split between the AHL and NHL. Last year he had 16-23-39 in 60 American League games and 6-7-13 in 14 NHL appearances. Assigned to Rochester during the lockout, Foligno had 10-17-27 in 33 games before returning to Buffalo where he has collected 3-9-12 in 29 games. All told, he has 9-16-25 in 43 career NHL games.

For some perspective, Foligno has 0.41 points per game this season, which is a 34-point pace over 82 games. His on-ice and personal shooting percentages aren't unreasonable, either. He's third on his team in hits with 63 (2.2 per game) and that total would lead Oilers forwards by a mile. Foligno has averaged more hits per game than Mike Brown this season and he has also added some offense.

And guess what?! His possession numbers are the best of any Sabres forward right now, and among the best in the league out of NHL regulars. He's been aided by 57.5% offensive zone starts (54.3% Ozone finishes) and meh competition, but that's still got to pique one's interest. It's a small sample size as well, but at least this young player has shown some ability to move things in the right direction.

His ice time breaks down this way:

Even strength: 13:09
Shorthanded: 0:12
Powerplay: 1:46
Total: 15:08

Not a player who is going to be very useful on the penalty kill at this juncture of his career, but Foligno has seen some significant time on the Sabres' powerplay. He has just two powerplay assists in 2013, but that might have something to do with the fact that Buffalo has 13 powerplay goals as a team and they're clicking only 12% of the time (30th in the NHL).

To sum it up, Foligno is young, big, brings a bit of scoring and some nastiness too. He's a left winger, which works out well for the third line in the long term, and he's got another year of ELC left at $900,000 before becoming an RFA.

Sound like someone the Oilers might be interested in?

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