Fonstad signs AHL contract with Cleveland Monsters

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Cole Fonstad flashes a smile as he was introduced to the crowd during a Canada Russia Series game at the Art Hauser Centre in November 2019.

Former Prince Albert Raiders forward Cole Fonstad will begin his professional hockey career this fall.

The 21-year-old from Estevan signed a one-year contract on Monday with the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters, who he played two games for at the end of the 2020-21 season and recorded an assist.

The fifth overall pick in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft, Fonstad recorded 281 points in 293 regular season games for the Raiders and the Everett Silvertips, who he was dealt to in October 2019.

He also had 11 points in 28 playoff contests during his time in Prince Albert and had three points for the club during the 2019 Memorial Cup in Halifax.

Around the WHL

The Saskatoon Blades are looking for a new head coach as Mitch Love was announced as the new bench boss for the AHL’s Stockton Heat on Monday.

The 37-year-old posted a 94-44-12-4 record during his three seasons with the Blades, which included a trip to the quarter-final round in 2019 as the club won their first playoff series since 2011.

He also served as an assistant coach for Canada at the last two World Juniors.

The Tri-City Americans also have a vacancy to fill behind the bench as the club elected not to renew the contract of head coach Kelly Buchberger.

After joining the Americans following a season as an assistant coach with the NHL’s New York Islanders, the 54-year-old Buchberger posted a 58-80-9-3 mark during his three-year stint in Kennewick, Wash.

Meanwhile, the Everett Silvertips promoted head coach Dennis Williams to the permanent role of general manager and also gave him a multi-year contract extension.

Williams, who has been the head coach for the Silvertips since 2017, received the interim general manager title in June following the departure of Garry Davidson.

In off-ice news, the Winnipeg Ice announced on Friday that Brian Munz had been named as the team’s manager for broadcast and communications.

Munz, who was the voice of the Raiders radio broadcasts from 2000 to 2004, had been the Winnipeg Jets radio announcer for nine years prior to this past season.

He will be filling a vacancy left by the departure of Mitch Peacock, who wrapped a two-year run as the voice of the Ice last week.