On a day the Buffalo Sabres called a press conference at HSBC Arena to commence extensive locker room renovations, the team also announced the signing of 2009 fourth-round (104th overall) draft-pick Marcus Foligno.
Foligno, the son of former Sabre Mike Foligno and younger brother to Senators’ forward Nick Foligno, recently wrapped up his fourth season with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves where he served as the team’s captain for the 2010/11 season.
The Buffalo, NY native developed into one of the best prospects in the Sabres’ system this year, posting career highs in goals (23), assists (36) and points (59) during his final season with the Wolves. Foligno, who surprised many with his selection on Canada’s World Junior Championship team, scored four points (2G 2A) in the seven games played as the team went on to win the silver medal in Buffalo. He scored 139 points (54G 85A) and racked up 382 PIMs throughout his junior hockey career.
The gritty forward has a big, NHL-ready frame (6’3″, 222 lbs) and is known for his punishing hits and rocket of a slap shot. More notably though, many coaches familiar with Foligno have complimented the young prospect’s ability to lead — an aspect the Sabres desperately desire. With the signing, Foligno will join the Sabres’ AHL affiliate Portland Pirates to begin next season along with fellow prospects Zack Kassian and recently signed Brayden McNabb. Throw in 2010/11 AHL Rookie of the Year Luke Adam (given he doesn’t make the pro roster) and teams sure won’t look forward to facing off against the Pirates next season.
That seems to be a good sign of things to come in Buffalo.
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