COLUMBUS, OHIO - Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno is a finalist for the Mark Messier Leadership Award, the club and League announced tonight. The award is presented "to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season" as selected by six-time Stanley Cup champion and Hall of Famer Mark Messier. The other finalists are Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames.
On the ice, Foligno helped Columbus to a 50-24-8 record and 108 points - a 32-point improvement from 2015-16 - by collecting 26-25-51 and adding five game-winning goals in 79 outings. In his second season as captain, he recorded 25 goals and 50 points for the second time in his career (2014-15) as the Jackets compiled the fourth-best record in the NHL a season after finishing 27th overall. He also picked up 5-9-14 and two game-winners during the club's 16-game winning streak, the second-longest in NHL history, from Nov. 29, 2016 to Jan. 3, 2017.
FOLIGNO NAMED COMMUNITY MVP
Off the ice, Foligno won the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation Community MVP Award for the second time. In October 2016, he and his wife, Janelle, committed $1 million to be split by Nationwide Children's Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital in support of pediatric congenital heart care in honor of their daughter, Milana. He also teamed with Papa John's Pizza for the second year in a row on a promotion in which Papa John's donates a portion of the proceeds from sales of its "Defender" pizza and makes a $500 donation for every goal Nick scores to the Janis Foligno Foundation. The foundation was created in memory of Nick's mother, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2009.
Video: A new perspective on the Foligno family tradition
In addition, he visited young patients at Nationwide Children's Hospital and did the same at Boston Children's Hospital during the team's lone trip to Boston in November, joined his teammates in delivering Meals-On-Wheels to those in need during the holiday season and served as the honorary race director for the OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon last spring.
Foligno is the fourth Blue Jacket to be named a finalist for a League award this season. He joins Sergei Bobrovsky, who is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, given to the NHL's top goaltender; defenseman Zach Werenski, who is a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the League's top rookie; and John Tortorella, who is a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach.
The 2017 NHL Awards and NHL Expansion Draft will celebrate the League's top talent from the 2016-17 season and reveal the initial roster of the League's 31st team, the Vegas Golden Knights, on Wednesday, June 21, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The event will be televised live in the United States on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET.