By Rob Mahon – discoverestevan.com
One of the goals for Estevan native Cole Fonstad entering his final season of junior hockey was to put in a strong enough performance that a professional hockey team would notice. After putting out the best offensive numbers of his career, it turns out someone did.
Fonstad has signed an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO) with the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters. The Monsters confirmed the signing on their website. They are an affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets.
Perhaps it’s no surprise Fonstad attracted attention from the pro ranks. He’d been a consistent offensive player his entire career, having put up back-to-back-to-back 70-point seasons before this year and being the only WHL player to do so in that span.
This year, however, playing with the Everett Silvertips, he found another gear. The 2000-born forward put up 34 points in just 23 games, putting him comfortably on pace for a career season. He scored 16 goals in that span, good for fifth in the league. His 34 points left him third in overall scoring.
Fonstad finished his WHL career with 281 points in 293 games over six seasons. In that time, he represented Canada at the World Under-18 Championships, played for the WHL in the annual series against the Russians, and won a championship with the Prince Albert Raiders in 2019 before going to the Memorial Cup in Halifax, where he posted three points in three games.
At the start of the year, before the WHL season began, Fonstad played six regular season games for the Estevan Bruins. In those games, he led the team in scoring with ten points. He also scored in his very first game with the Bruins back in 2015-16.
The Monsters have three games remaining on their schedule, including one tonight, with all three coming against the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Griffins are the affiliate of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings.