It’s amazing what a difference a year has made for Cole Fonstad.
At this point last year in his rookie season with the Prince Albert Raiders, Fonstad had one goal in his first 10 games. This year, he has already five goals and 11 assists for 16 points on the year. Only Jordy Stallard, Raiders overager and Fonstad’s linemate, has more points on the Raiders with one more goal and as many assists. Parker Kelly also has six goals on the year.
“Last year, it took me quite a while to get going, I think half the season until I felt good out there,” Fonstad said. “Then this year as a second year player, you can contribute a lot more offensively and defensively.
“Last year, we didn’t win much. The motivation to win this year is a lot higher. Coming in as a second year player, you want to help lead and be the go-to guy. Just that is the biggest thing so far.”
His per-game production has skyrocketed as well. Fonstad had .16 goals per game, .22 assists for .38 points per contest. Already, those numbers are .5, 1.1 and 1.6 respectively.
Fonstad is eligible for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, but his production hasn’t been reflected in his rankings as of yet. Fonstad was left out of the NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch preliminary rankings. He was ranked 92nd in Future Considerations and seventh in the Dubnetwork’s list of WHL draft-eligible players.
When asked what he felt his focus should be, Fonstad was clear.
“I think just making the simple plays, having confidence with the puck and preparing for the games physically and mentally—getting my legs ready to go,” Fonstad said. “Then just playing with Stally and Parker is nice too. It’s not every day you get to play with two good players like that and two guys that can move the puck pretty well and make plays. We all want to win, that really helps too.”
The Raiders (3-4-3) haven’t played the Saskatoon Blades (3-6) yet this season, but that will finally change on Saturday when the Blades come in to the Art Hauser Centre.
“It’s going to be fun. The preseason games we had against them, you could already see the rivalry coming,” Fonstad said. "It’s going to be good to start the eight games that we play them. Hopefully we can get a good crowd out there, and get some energy.”
On Twitter: @jeff_paNOW
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