Fonstad among contingent of Raiders heading to NHL camps

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Cole Fonstad steals the puck away from Devin Jameson during a scrimmage at the Prince Albert Raiders training camp Sunday.

Since joining the Prince Albert Raiders on a full-time basis in 2016, Cole Fonstad has been through it all in the Western Hockey League.

After missing the playoffs in his rookie year and coming out on the losing end of a seven-game battle with the Moose Jaw Warriors in 2018, the 19-year-old forward from Estevan was able to lift the Ed Chynoweth Cup this past May as the Raiders won the Ed Chynoweth Cup for the second time.

“The culture change that our team has had over the last few years has been unbelievable,” Fonstad said. “Everyone knows what the expectations are here, especially the new guys that are joining our team.

“When I talk to the young players who are here for the first time, it feels like that they have been with us for two or three years already as they all know what it takes to be a player at this level. I think that’s why we’ve been so successful and I think you’ll see that continue here for years to come.”

One of the benefits that has come from that success is the opportunity for players to go to National Hockey League training camps.

Fonstad is one of nine players so far from the 2018-19 roster that will be heading to pro camps this week, as he’ll be taking part in the Montreal Canadiens rookie camp in Belleville, Ont.

“It’s been a short summer for all of us, but we’re all happy to be back on the ice here and start to get ready for the new season,” said Fonstad, who was a fifth round pick by the Canadiens in 2018 but has yet to sign an entry-level contract with the team.

“As I head into camp this year, I have a better idea of how things work and I just need to settle down and play my game. It’s up to me to take advantage of the opportunity that I’ve been given and run with it.”

The other members of the 2019 WHL champions that have been confirmed for NHL camps so far are Noah Gregor (San Jose Sharks), Zack Hayes (Anaheim Ducks), Parker Kelly (Ottawa Senators), Brett Leason (Washington Capitals), Brayden Pachal (Vegas Golden Knights), Aliaksei Protas (Washington Capitals), Sergei Sapego (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Ian Scott (Toronto Maple Leafs).

After a whirlwind off-season that saw him all over North America, Fonstad hit the ground running at Raiders training camp over the weekend as he found the back of the net four times and finished in a tie with Davin Griffin and Justin Nachbaur for the most goals during three days of scrimmages.

“I had a summer camp in Montreal, a trip with my family in Kelowna, the chance to go Hockey Canada’s World Junior Development Camp and some time back home in Estevan, so I tried to spend as much time in the gym when I had the chance,” Fonstad said. “However, it’s important to give your mind a rest when you are away from hockey, so I made sure to visit family and friends during the summer, along with getting some golf in.

“When I was younger, I tried to focus a lot on getting bigger and stronger, but as time has gone on my focus has changed to getting faster. It doesn’t matter how much you weigh as long as you are smart and fast and able to win those one-on-one battles by using your skill and making smart plays with your stick at the next level.”

After matching his career high in points last season with 73, Fonstad earned an invite to Hockey Canada’s World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Mich.

Although he was unable to take part in any on-ice activities due to an injury, he plans to use some of the lessons that he learned during the camp as he looks to earn the opportunity to play for his country at this year’s tournament in the Czech Republic.

“Some of the guys that were at that camp are going to be playing in the NHL this season,” Fonstad said.

“It was great to see some of the things that they do in order to be successful and I’ve already started to put some of the things that I learned from those players into my game.”

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald
Tyler Dysart closes in on Max Savoie during a shootout at the Art Hauser Centre Sunday night.

After three days of action at the Art Hauser Centre, 56 players remain in town ahead of Monday’s Green and White Game, which gets underway at 1 p.m.

Admission to the game is a $2 donation or a non-perishable food item to the Prince Albert Food Bank.

Cuts are expected to be made later in the day ahead of the Raiders first pre-season game on Wednesday night when the Moose Jaw Warriors come to town.

While the rosters for each side will be announced in the morning, the players that will be taking part in the contest are as follows.

Goalies

  • Max Hildebrand
  • Owen Savoie
  • Carter Serhyenko
  • Liam Vanderkooi

Defencemen

  • Konrad Belcourt
  • Braydon Clark
  • Owen Desilets
  • Tre Fouquette
  • Tayem Gisalson
  • Graydon Gotaas
  • Landon Kosior
  • Adam McNutt
  • Tyler Ostrander
  • Porter Pennock
  • Liam Rodman
  • Kayden Skulmoski

Forwards

  • Dawson Brace
  • Rylan Bruns
  • Mackenzie Carson
  • Cooper Chisholm
  • Tyler Dysart
  • Davin Griffin
  • Connor Groves
  • Devin Jameson
  • Mark Janes
  • Ivan Kechkin
  • Tristan Kimmen
  • Tyson Laventure
  • Logan Linklater
  • Spencer Moe
  • Justin Nachbaur
  • Cole Nagy
  • Eric Pearce
  • Hayden Prosofsky
  • Jack Silverberg
  • Dean Spak
  • Ilya Usau
  • Bryce Warkentine
  • Ozzy Wiesblatt
  • Ben Wourms-Rowe

Not Dressed

Goaltenders

  • Brett Balas
  • Boston Bilous

Defencemen

  • Nolan Allan
  • Kaiden Guhle
  • Zack Hayes
  • Max Martin
  • Jeremy Masella
  • Brayden Pachal
  • Sergei Sapego
  • Loeden Schafuler

Forwards

  • Jakob Brook
  • Niall Crocker
  • Cole Fonstad
  • Evan Herman
  • Aliaksei Protas
  • Cohner Saleski

Following a pair of scrimmages on Sunday morning, the Raiders cut the following players from their camp roster.

Goalies

  • Steven Bacovsky (2001)
  • Spencer Welke (2002)
  • Ethan Kadatz (2003)
  • Draydon Ramage (2003)
  • Tresor Wotton (2003)
  • Matt Stephens (2004)

Defencemen

  • Lucas Eagle (2001)
  • Graham Skinner (2002)
  • Jack Wolder (2002)
  • Eric Robbie (2003)
  • Dylan Bidyk (2004)
  • Ben House (2004)
  • Riley Jacob (2004)
  • Dahnte Nackoney (2004)
  • Sean Quinn (2004)
  • Nolan Wallace (2004)
  • Jacob Ziegler (2004)

Forwards

  • Silas Buijs (2002)
  • Jace Benvie (2003)
  • Shaw Cathcart (2003)
  • Matt Corbet (2003)
  • Hunter Degelman (2003)
  • Joel Freer (2003)
  • Colton Koran (2003)
  • Rhys Maksiomow (2003)
  • Guillermo Salazar (2003)
  • Curren Wintonyk-Pilot (2003)
  • Dale Derkatch (2004)
  • Aidan Doornbos (2004)
  • Joe Kelly (2004)
  • Daytn Kulynych (2004)
  • Rylin Nelson (2004)
  • Dallyn Peekeekoot (2004)
  • Jayden Plamondon (2004)

Sunday’s Pre-Season Scores

  • Vancouver 2 Spokane 1 (Tanner Brown Shootout Winner – David Tendeck – 25 Saves)
  • Kamloops 5 Kelowna 3 (Matthew Seminoff – Two Assists)
  • Tri-City 3 Portland 2 (Sasha Mutala – Three Goals)
  • Everett 3 Seattle 2 (Ronan Seeley Overtime Winner – Jake Christiansen – One Goal and Two Assists – Roddy Ross – 43 Saves)

Tuesday’s Pre-Season Schedule

  • Red Deer vs. Edmonton – 7 p.m.