by Todd Anderson
After watching Patrick Eaves -- the son of former NHLer Mike Eaves -- excel in his rookie season in the NHL in 2005-06, the Ottawa Senators are banking on another prospect with a strong pedigree.
The Senators selected 18-year-old left-winger Nick Foligno, the son of former NHL star Mike Foligno, with the 28th-overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft at GM Place in Vancouver.
"He plays like his dad, I'll tell you that," said Senators general manager John Muckler. "He's a gritty player. He has a little bit of sandpaper to him and that's something we need in the organization. He's a great kid and I think he will do a great job for us. He'll play in the National Hockey League."
Foligno, who played last year with the Ontario Hockey League's Sudbury Wolves, where his father serves as GM and head coach, is thrilled to join the Senators.
"It's a dream come true, obviously. I'm pretty excited to have my family here to share it with me," Foligno says. "I'm looking forward to proving to Ottawa that I do belong. It was a little different (for his father when he was drafted in 1979). They had a phone draft when he got drafted.
"He just told me to enjoy it. I came in here not expecting too much and I came away with probably the greatest feeling in the world. I really want to thank John Muckler and the whole Ottawa Senators organization for picking me."
Foligno says his father has been a great influence along the way.
"The love and respect my father had kept him in the game for a long time. I try to remember that every time I step on the ice. He's been a great mentor for me."
Last season with the Wolves, Foligno scored 24 goals and 70 points in 65 games. He also registered 146 penalty minutes.