For the first time in his hockey career, Cole Fonstad will be representing his country.
On Thursday, Fonstad was named to Canada’s roster for the upcoming 2018 IIHF U18 World Championship in Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk, Russia from April 19 to 29.
“I haven’t really got a chance to represent Canada before, so it’s a new opportunity for me and I’m really excited,” Fonstad said.
The Estevan product said getting that opportunity to wear the maple leaf for the first time means a lot to him as he grew up watching the Olympic teams and World Junior tournaments.
“I think this tournament is a step towards that. Hopefully I can go [to the U18 World Championship], do my thing and have a good tournament and hopefully we can bring back a gold medal,” he said.
Fonstad came into his own during his sophomore season with the Raiders. The Estevan product dressed in all 72 games this season, scoring 21 goals and adding 52 assists. He finished first on the team in assists and second in scoring with 73 points.
“I just tried to stay consistent throughout the year and just improve every day, come to the rink with a good attitude and work hard. I knew that one day my opportunity would come if I keep up a good attitude and stay positive and just control what I can control.”
His play also drew the attention of scouts in his NHL Draft season. Heading into the year, Fonstad was not on NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary players to watch list. Since then, Fonstad has cracked those lists and was the 78th ranked skater in North America.
Fonstad was also invited to take part in the 218 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, picking up a goal in a losing effort for Team Orr.
Fonstad will take part in a short training camp from Sunday, April 8 to 10 in Etobicoke, ON before heading out to Russia to play two pre-tournament games.
Canada opens the tournament on April 19 against the United States at 8:30 a.m. All of Canada’s games will be broadcasted on TSN.