Fonstad Raiding The Score Sheet
Another week, another few more points racked up by Prince Albert Raiders left wing Cole Fonstad.
Fonstad has been steadily producing all season long and is now up to 32 points in 27 games. More of a playmaker than a shooter, his 23 assists currently have him in a tie for 16th in the WHL.
Fonstad’s style and skillset were in full display on Friday in Calgary against the Hitmen. He scored a goal early in the 1st period after collecting a loose puck near the Hitmen net. As Calgary goalie Nick Schneider was projecting forward to cut off the angle, Fonstad, instead of just firing a hopeful shot, showed composure and skated the puck forward before confidently slipping a backhand around the out-of-position Hitmen netminder.
It was the only point in the game for Fonstad, but he was regularly involved in other offensive chances for the Raiders. His passing abilities are very impressive, whipping hard, accurate, cross-ice passes to his teammates, even in heavy traffic. Fonstad displays quick hands and a strong understanding of puck protection, effectively carrying the puck on zone entries and then using a wide skating base to slow down and move it safely east or west while his teammates catch up to him.
Despite showing off some quick acceleration and elusiveness in tight spaces, Fonstad’s top speed is an issue, as back-checking Calgary forward often caught up to him in open ice. His pass-first mentality also appears like it needs to be honed down a bit, as there was one instance in the 1st period where he had a great opportunity for a shooting chance, but instead elected to pass the puck to a linemate in a bad position, killing the opportunity. He’s only accumulated 48 shots all season, which is telling.
Fonstad’s small size and lack of separation speed keep him primarily as a perimeter player, but his passing skills, creativity and composure allow him to be incredibly dangerous from that area, especially on the powerplay.
Addison Adding The Apples
Lethbridge Hurricanes defenseman Calen Addison had an incredibly productive Sunday, picking up five assists in a 7-2 romp over the Edmonton Oil Kings.
The lone defender on Lethbridge’s top powerplay unit, all five of Addison’s helpers came with the man-advantage.
The undersized offensive defenseman is now up to 32 points in 27 games, which is good for 4th among all WHL blueliners.
Stuart Takes Home Rookie Of The Month Honours
Kamloops Blazers left wing Brodi Stuart seemingly came out of nowhere and exploded in the month of November, registering 12 points in 10 games, good enough to earn the WHL’s top rookie honours for the month.
Spending much of that time on a line with Washington Capitals 3rd rounder and skilled playmaker Garret Pilon, Stuart has displayed impressive instincts and offensive zone awareness, finding open holes in coverage and depositing loose pucks around the net, despite a 5’10”, 170-pound frame.
If Stuart continues to play on the Blazers’ top line he could become a prospect to watch closely as the season progresses.