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Foligno's draft memories still special

Senators' 2006 top pick savoured every moment of big day in Vancouver

Friday, 06.06.2008 / 2:49 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
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Foligno\'s draft memories still special
The way Nick Foligno still sees it, his ‘welcome to the NHL’ moment surely didn’t disappoint. Not in the least.

“It’s everything it’s cracked up to be, that’s for sure,” Foligno said of that June afternoon when the Ottawa Senators made him the 28th pick of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft at General Motors Place in Vancouver.

“You see the guys before you (get drafted) and you hope you get to do that. Once you get to (that moment), it’s unbelievable. You get all eyes on you for about 10 seconds but it’s a great feeling. It’s something I wish for every kid who goes up there, that they have that exact same feeling. It’s something that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.”

Foligno admits now he “had no clue” on the day of the draft that the Senators had him on their radar screen, even if they’d earlier brought him up to Ottawa for a strength and conditioning test.

“I really didn’t think they were in the running at all,” he said. “It was actually funny. The first time I turned away from the stage was when (the Senators group) went up. I was talking to my parents and I heard my name … I couldn’t believe it.

“It was a lot of fun and it was great to have my family there sharing in that moment and that feeling.”

The Foligno clan in Vancouver included father Mike, the former NHLer and Nick’s junior coach with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sudbury Wolves; mother Janis, and his three siblings (two older sisters, Cara and Lisa, and younger brother Marcus). And yes, it was quite the family celebration later that night.

“That’s the biggest thing, you celebrate,” said Foligno. “You worked a long time to have your name called on that day, so I went out with my family for a nice dinner and we celebrated and it was a lot of fun.”

For the Buffalo-born Foligno, that moment began to seem attainable when he was selected to join USA Hockey’s national team development program based in Ann Arbor, Mich., and made the under-17 squad.

“Ever since then, I realized maybe I could make something out of hockey and it became a dream,” he said. “When you’re little, you always say you want to be an NHL hockey player. But I think it became (realistic) once you realize you’re maybe better than a majority of the kids in the United States.

“It becomes more of a reality and you work a lot harder because you know you can eventually become one.”

Lots of similar dreams will begin to come true June 20 and 21 at Scotiabank Place, when the 2008 NHL Entry Draft is held. Foligno plans to be on hand to help welcome the newest Senator to the organization.

“You only get to see so many drafts, so it’ll be cool to just be there,” he said. “I have to be there a couple days later anyway (for a summer conditioning camp for Senators prospects), so I figure I’ll go a couple of days early.

“I’ll definitely introduce myself (to the Senators’ No. 1 pick) and tell him congratulations. I’m sure he’ll be as nervous as I was, so I won’t bug him too much. I’ll just say congratulations and welcome to the team.”

Meet Nick Foligno at the NHL Entry Draft Trading Card and Memorabilia Show.




1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52


E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06