New Silvertips forward Cole Fonstad practices with the team Tuesday afternoon at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

New Silvertips forward Cole Fonstad practices with the team Tuesday afternoon at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

New forward Fonstad excited for opportunity with Silvertips

Acquired from Prince Albert on Sunday, the Canadiens prospect provides top end skill and speed.

EVERETT — During Everett Silvertips practice on Monday, a peculiar but not out of the ordinary occurrence took place, given the natue of major junior hockey.

Cole Fonstad, the Silvertips newly acquired high-octane forward, sauntered down the hallway to the Silvertips’ bench and vaulted himself over the boards and onto the ice, midway through a drill. The former Prince Albert Raider had just got in after a day of flying and driving to Everett and was parachuting in for his first practice with his new team. The Silvertips waiting on the blue line facing the east end of Angel of the Winds Arena eventually skated over to Fonstad and shook hands to introduce themselves to their new teammate.

It’s a subtle reminder that not only can players leave at almost any time, incoming players can arrive at any time, too.

“It was a little different,” Fonstad said. “(I) haven’t really done much, we had a day off yesterday there. But it was good to jump right into it and get a feel for things quick. I’m happy to be here.”

The trade, which took place on Sunday, Canadian Thanksgiving, sent shock waves throughout the league and the Silvertips dressing room. The Silvertips gave up another haul, Everett’s sixth consecutive year of adding significant pieces to its lineup rather than subtracting.

The price was steep for Fonstad, as the Silvertips gave up 2001-born center Reece Vitelli, a second-round pick in 2021, a fourth-round pick in 2021 and a conditional pick in 2022, contingent on Vitelli playing his overage season (2021-2022).

But it required a healthy haul to acquire Fonstad, who has scored 73 points in back-to-back seasons and was a main contributor to Prince Albert’s WHL Championship run last season, an experience he said he cherishes.

“It was unbelievable. I’ve never won anything before really, nothing too crazy just some minor hockey spring tournaments, but that’s just a whole other level,” Fonstad said. “Just to see the grind it was for two-and-a-half months, you have to put everything you got into it. And the result is absolutely worth it. No matter how beat up you are, it just makes you want to win that much more. Coming into this year, I want it again.”

Fonstad is leaving a Raiders team that is off to another great start at 7-0-2 and could be primed for another deep run in the East division, but Fonstad said it didn’t come as a complete shock to move from Prince Albert.

“They have a great team there again,” Fonstad said. “But it’s hockey. It happens. I’m excited for a new opportunity.”

That journey to pursue a new opportunity started almost immediately, as Fonstad made the short 83-mile trek from Prince Albert to Saskatoon on Sunday night after Thanksgiving supper in order to catch a morning flight to Abbotsford, British Columbia. At the airport was Silvertips general manager Garry Davidson, who drove his new forward over the border just in time to catch the final moments of Silvertips practice on Monday.

Davidson said that the main objective in acquiring Fonstad was his ability to drive offense to a team that’s second in the U.S. Division (5-3-0) despite a lack of scoring, and go figure, the first drill he participated in he snapped a goal into the back of the net.

“I just want to be myself,” Fonstad said. “I just want to bring some offense, obviously you need to score to win. I think I can bring that, but obviously I want to come here to develop. My goal is to be a professional and I think I have a great chance to do that here with the coaching staff and I’m just trying to put my best foot forward every day and do everything possible to help this team win.”

There’s a strong Canadiens influence on the Silvertips roster this season as both Fonstad and defenseman Gianni Fairbrother are Montreal prospects. Fonstad was taken in the fifth round in 2018 and Fairbrother, a late birthday, was a third-round pick in 2019.

There’s plenty for Fonstad to prove this season, not only to his teammates, but also to Montreal’s brass in order to earn an entry-level contract with the Canadiens and play next season professionally. He’s also on Hockey Canada’s radar after participating on the World Junior Summer Showcase and is in the mix to make Team Canada’s roster for the 2020 World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic.

Fonstad should get plenty of exposure on Everett’s top line in 2019-2020. The initial plan, according to Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams, is for Fonstad to play on the other wing opposite of Bryce Kindopp, who leads the WHL with eight goals, in a line centered by 2001-born forward Gage Goncalves, who has shown promise this season.

“Change is good,” Fonstad said. “I’m excited for the opportunity. Obviously this is different with the style of play, but I’m just trying to adjust to it as quickly as possible and just help the team win.”

While there’s certainly an added buzz around the rink after acquiring a player of Fonstad’s ilk, Williams is also reminded of the tough side of the business. The side opposite of Fonstad dropping in during the middle of practice.

Vitelli, who was entering his third season with the Silvertips, was a top-nine center for Everett almost from the jump. He was expected to make a big jump in his 18-year-old season with the Silvertips, and now if he does, it will be with another team.

“Obviously, they’re not easy trades,” Williams said. “I know Garry alluded to it, but a guy like Reece has been a great ambassador of our program. Great player. He’s a great young man and he’s been here since my first year in (2017-2018), has played a lot of minutes and has been heavily involved in our team success over those two years.

“It’s not a fun day, but obviously we need to improve our forwards up front in goal-scoring and Garry made an acquisition of Cole that is obviously a proven point-getter in the league.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Everett's Ben Hemmerling controls the puck with Portland's O'Brien Jack trailing in the second period Friday night at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett on October 8, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
No sure bet, but several Tips could be taken in NHL draft

Forward Ben Hemmerling is among the Everett players that will be keeping close watch beginning Thursday.

The AquaSox’s Noelvi Marte looks up to the sky while rounding the bases after a long homer to center field during a game against the Vancouver Canadians Wednesday, July 6, 2022, at Funko Field in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
GALLERY: AquaSox rally in 8th to defeat Canadians

Everett scores twice late and comes from behind to beat Vancouver 6-5.

The AquaSox' Noelvi Marte hits a double against the Spokane Indians at Funko Field on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021 in Everett, Washington. The Mariners promoted Marte from Low-A Modesto to High-A Everett on Monday. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Top-prospect Marte heating up in 2nd half for AquaSox

After some early struggles, the young shortstop batted .350 with three homers and 13 RBI in the past 11 games for Everett.

Washington's Steve Emtman leaves the field displaying the numberone sign after Washington's 34-14 win over Michigan in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Jan. 1, 1992. Emtman and Washington's quarterback Billy Joe Hobert were named co-MVPs of the game. (AP Photo/Bob Galbraith)
The Pac-12 will never be the same — and that’s sad for many

The dismantling of the conference hurts for those that have been fans for a long, long time.

Seattle Seahawks owner Jody Allen stands on a balcony at CenturyLink Field after she raised the 12th man flag before the team's NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Jody Allen: Seahawks, Blazers not for sale at this time

The statement came amid growing speculation about the future ownership of the teams.

FILE - Germany's assistant coach Jessica Campbell stands behind players on the German bench during the group A Hockey World Championship match between France and Germany in Helsinki, Finland, Monday May 16, 2022. The Coachella Valley Firebirds have hired Jessica Campbell as the American Hockey League’s first female assistant coach. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
Kraken AHL team hires 1st female assistant in league history

Jessica Campbell will be behind the bench for the Coachella Valley Firebirds next season.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen of Everett poses with a soccer ball in front of the U.S. capitol building in Washington, D.C.. (Provided photo)
How Rep. Rick Larsen helped Seattle secure its 2026 World Cup bid

The longtime congressman isn’t solely responsible, but he played a small role in bringing the event to the Pacific Northwest.

Dream pull away in 3rd to beat Storm

Seattle never leads in a 90-76 loss to Atlanta.

Seattle Mariners infielders react after the Mariners defeated the San Diego Padres 6-2 in a baseball game Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Mariners sweep Padres, move within 1 game of .500

Seattle beats San Diego 6-2 for its 12th win in its past 15 games.

Most Read