Rangers 2016 sixth round pick Gabriel Fontaine wrapped up another strong season with Rouyn-Noranda of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The 20-year-old established career-highs with 23 goals and 29 assists for 52 points in 59 games, which was good enough for fourth on the Huskies in scoring. He added six goals - including four game-winners - and 11 points in 13 QMJHL playoff games.
At last year's draft, the Sherbrooke, Quebec-native described himself as a "two-way player" who can bring offense, though his bread and butter is in the defensive end.
Gordie Clark, the Rangers' Director, Player Personnel, said Fontaine is a "shutdown guy" that understands - and embraces - his role as such.
"This guy really had his position down pat and enjoyed playing it," Clark said at last year's draft in Buffalo. "He did a great job with it. He's got above average speed, which is really good and a beautiful skating stride. "
Clark said in today's NHL, players slotted on teams' third and fourth lines have to also be able to contribute offensively, and Fontaine's numbers show he's capable, as he has 117 points in 194 QMJHL games to go along with a plus-47 rating. He also helped lead the Huskies to the 2016 QMJHL Championship, during which he scored 16 points in 20 QMJHL playoff contests.
Adam Graves said Fontaine "had another excellent season" with Rouyn-Noranda. "He's a young man that has a great stride and can play in all three zones."
Graves praised Fontaine's penalty killing and overall defensive game and that, coupled with his strong skating, should allow Fontaine to "excel in the pro game."
Fontaine, who stands 6-foot-1 and 191 pounds, inked his entry-level contract with the Blueshirts in April and could make the jump to the pro ranks next season.