The Lakeland area has another kid on the big club in Edmonton.
Bonnyville’s Justin Fontaine is headed to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Taylor Beck.
Today is the NHL Trade Deadline. As per normal there are big names exchanged between clubs and then there are those that fall under minor transactions, and go as a footnote on the day. Although this may look like a minor transaction for the New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers, this is a huge transaction for the Bonnyville Pontiacs organization and local hockey in the Lakeland.
Fontaine will join fellow Lakeland and Pontiac product, Mark Letestu on the Oilers. Fontaine and Letestu played one season together with the Pontiacs in 2004-2005.
“It would be unbelievable to see [Justin] lace up the skates with Mark Letestu again. They had good chemistry in the one year they played together here in Bonnyville.” Dennis Fontaine, Justin’s Dad, said of the potential reunion between the two players.
Fontaine’s Pontiac career lasted from 2004-2007 before he headed for the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Justin recorded 57 goals in a Bonnyville Pontiacs uniform and added 100 assists for a career total of 157 points in the AJHL.
Fontaine has played 197 career games in the NHL. In those games he has amassed 68 points, all for the Minnesota Wild.
“Minnesota molded [Justin] into a defensive forward who can play the penalty kill effectively. He still has an offensive flare in his game.” Dennis Fontaine added about his son’s strengths.
This year, Fontaine has been playing for the Hartford Wolfpack, the AHL affiliate of the New York Rangers. In 50 games, Justin has recorded nine goals and 21 assists. He is a minus three on the year.
One added element the Oilers are getting in this deal is Fontaine’s 19 games of playoff experience in the NHL. This will certainly give the Oilers an option down the stretch as they attempt to make it back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2005-2006.
Dennis Fontaine expects Justin to report to the Oilers AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. The Condors sit fourth in the AHL’s Pacific Division with 52 points.
Justin Fontaine will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.