Marcus Foligno is clearly a player with a lot of heart for the Minnesota Wild. That is evident in the way he handles himself on the ice and among his teammates.
The Minnesota Wild are no longer built to be in fights most nights, no longer built for lining up huge hits, though Matt Dumba’s recent increase in hitting might put paid to that theory, at least in part. They’re still built with considerable size, it’s just being used differently.
Marcus Foligno, to his credit, has adapted to this since joining the Minnesota Wild. He was never expected to put up huge point totals. In fact his 23 points last year was the exact same points total he tallied both the previous two seasons with the Buffalo Sabres.
More from Analysis
- Here we go. Minnesota Wild head into pivotal Game 5 matchup
- Yeah, Game 2 was ugly. How will the Minnesota Wild respond at home?
- Fleury injury just the latest hurdle for the struggling Minnesota Wild so far
- Minnesota Wild to get a test with challenging homestand
- Minnesota Wild: Filip Gustavsson gets his time to shine in net
Likewise, the number of penalty minutes to his name perfectly match his role on a team; a fourth-line grinder that makes it hard on the opposition.
In the 2015-16 campaign, they sat at 79 penalty minutes, the season after; 73 minutes. Most recently for the Minnesota Wild, they sat at 72 minutes.
Marcus Foligno is nothing if not consistent with his statistics.
He lines up 52.8% of the time at even strength, according to Dobber Sports, with Eric Fehr and J.T. Brown; between them they generally give opposing teams a hard time, finishing checks and just causing trouble in general.
Where he stands out is the heart and determination he brings to the line-up. He may not be the most-skilled player, but he’ll be the first to go down, putting his body on the line to block a shot.
WATCH NHL ON ESPN+: Get your free 7-day trial of ESPN+
That shows too; with the second-most blocked shots per 60 among the forwards in the team. Thankfully, he is able to do so without incurring injuries. He also puts up time on the penalty-kill, playing a part in the league’s fourth best percentage for killing penalties; the Minnesota Wild coming in at 85.7%.
I don’t think it’s fair that we should expect any more than what Foligno gives us. As stated, he’s the epitomy of consistency, he is willing to put his body on the line and it seems is a great character to have in the locker-room, especially given you’d hardly classify him as an NHL veteran yet!
The only slight against him is a cap hit that’s possibly a little too high for a role player; his contract term is very comfortable given he’s still only 27.
What he’s doing right now is just fine, as long as he continues to remain consistent with it. A little more point production would be nice, but given his role, we can cope just fine if it stays the same.
Statistics courtesy of Dobber Sports.