He can continue to assist in building the hockey culture Davidson and head coach Luke Richardson want.
Talented players win games, but culture helps keep them focused. Foligno gets the culture that Davidson and Richardson want to have for the next great Hawks team. Seth Jones' contract is going to make him a part of those teams. He is an alternate captain, but Jones' leadership is more of a lead-by-example.
Foligno is the vocal leader. He is the guy there to tell these young players how things are done at the NHL-level.
This is also a player who is willing to protect the team's future assets on the ice. When Bedard got his jaw fractured by a hit from New Jersey's Brendan Smith, it was Foligno who later dropped gloves with Smith. Foligno may have gotten hurt in that fight, but he sent a message to Smith that he better think twice before laying another hit like that.
That is the type of player the young Hawks need on the ice. They need a veteran with skins on the wall and the willingness to send messages to the opponent that these youngsters are not to be messed with.
It is not like Foligno is some goon out there. He can still provide some offense. Foligno has three multi-goals this season. Nick can also play on both the power play and penalty kill units. It cannot be said enough, this is not a payment for past performance like Seabrook's deal was.
This is paying for things you cannot put a stat on and that is Foligno's excellent leadership.