Bonnyville native Justin Fontaine has signed in Belarus following a season that saw him play a full year in the American Hockey League (AHL).
Fontaine’s year began with the New York Rangers and a minor-league contract. Throughout the first three quarters of the year, Fontaine couldn’t crack a highly competitive Rangers lineup. It was on March 1, 2017 that a trying season took an interesting turn. The Bonnyville kid was traded to his hometown Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Taylor Beck. The Oilers immediately assigned Fontaine to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. Their was hope in the Lakeland that Oilers fans would get to see a couple of former Bonnyville Pontiacs tear it up in the NHL. That hope did not come to pass. Fontaine put up 41 points in 65 games in the AHL this past season. He played significantly better points wise in Bakersfield.
Headed to Russia
Fontaine signed a deal on July 31 to play for HC Dinamo Minsk of the KHL next season. HC Dinamo Minsk finished second in the Bobrov Division of the KHL last season. A solid season overseas could instill some NHL interest in Fontaine’s abilities down the line.