(BUFFALO) Gabriel Fontaine was not in Sunrise in 2015, his first year of eligibility for the NHL draft. He has traveled against Buffalo this summer and he finally had reason to smile.
The Sherbrooke was selected 171st level by the New York Rangers on Saturday, putting a final exclamation point to a memorable 2015-16 season.
Recall that there are nearly a year, the Sherbrooke Phoenix traded its local product to Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in exchange for forward Julien Pelletier.
Fontaine, a product of Cantonniers Magog (Hockey League Quebec Midget AAA), has never managed to find a comfortable kennel in birds.
An air change was needed, and it was beneficial. With the Huskies, Fontaine won the President’s Cup and went to the Memorial Cup final. The big trophy is ultimately won by the London Knights in overtime against Rouyn.
Drafted 29th overall (second round) by the Phoenix in 2013, Fountain has played two seasons in Sherbrooke before taking the path of Abitibi.
In 63 games, he scored 20 goals and 25 assists for 45 points, both career highs. During the long journey of the series Huskies, he added five goals and 11 assists for 16 points in 20 games. All career highs.
“The key to this season was certainly good exchange led me to Rouyn. Change of coach, change of teammates, it did me good. Chemistry has Rouyn was amazing, there is no place else like that, it was really good for me. ”
“The Gilles Bouchard coach has been very good to me, he gave me a big role this year, I had more or less in Sherbrooke. Confidence grew and I was finally able to show what I could do, “said Fontaine, who considers himself an attacker can succeed in both ends of the ice, while having a significant offensive touch.
“I met with the Rangers during the season and Daniel Doré, their recruiter is mounted Gatineau just to see me and talk to me. All that I put a flea in the ear on the interest of Rangers, who liked me as a player and person. ”
Gabriel Fontaine was accompanied by his parents, in Buffalo.
“It was a good year with the guys, lived many beautiful things, it was an amazing experience to go to the Memorial.Jamais cut I’ve given up, I believed in my chances and I could demonstrate. It was concluded today and I am very proud of the efforts that I have made. ”
Another obstacle overcome by Pascal Laberge
The Pascal Laberge’s story is unusual. And moving. A story he decided to share a touching text published on the website The player’s forum last Thursday. A kind of outlet for the attacker of the Victoriaville Tigres.
A brief reminder: former first round pick (2nd overall) by the Gatineau Olympiques in 2014, Laberge is shipped in Victoriaville before the 2014-15 season ends.
In 58 games with the two teams, he still found a way to amass 31 points. Expectations were so high at the start of last season.
But now, Laberge is not there. It does not produce the expected pace. Something is happening. Quietly, the information start filtering. Laberge and his family live in difficult times.
His stepmother loses his battle against cancer two months in September. Almost at the same time, her father announced that he is suffering from prostate cancer.
Something is wrong. It’s too much. Emotions disrupt it.
Ranked 28th by NHL Central Scouting, Laberge had to wait for Saturday morning before finally hearing his name echo in the hills of First Niagara Center.
“Yesterday (Friday) was a moving day, with a lot of stress, I am happy to be out early today (Saturday),” said he said at the outset.
“It is an honor for me to join the Flyers; it is a character team and I believe is a character player. I had good talks with them after the combined events and I knew my style of game they like really. ”
“It’s really amazing, you play since you were little and your dream is to make you recover from an NHL team. I can hardly believe all this is happening. ”
If he experienced emotional rollercoaster start to the season, things are replaced gradually.
His father was removing the prostate and is in remission. One little peace of mind, Laberge was first demarcated in the match future stars BMO Canadian Hockey League (CHL) with two goals and an assist in a 3-2 win for the team Orr on the Cherry team.
He concluded his season with a production of 23 goals and 45 assists for 68 points in 56 games.
A passion, a cure
Hockey, his passion has allowed him to overcome the obstacles in its path.
“I never even considered stopping hockey. This really is my passion and this is what I want to do in life. Bruce Richardson My coach told me in November, if you play well, your family will feel better. This was the trigger that I expected, “he said.
Surrounded by his father, his mother, his brothers and several other family members, Pascal Laberge enjoyed every second of his selection by the Flyers.
“I gave a big hug to my father, when my name came out, he said, smiling. This is the kind of tests a 17 or 18 is not accustomed to live. One becomes more mature, faster. I’m just glad I could get through it all.