Former NAHL goalie LaFontaine signs NHL contract with Carolina
Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, announced that the team has signed former NAHL and Janesville Jets goaltender Jack LaFontaine to a one-year, entry-level contract. The deal will pay LaFontaine $750,000 at the NHL level and $70,000 at the AHL level through the end of the 2021-22 season. LaFontaine will receive a signing bonus of $88,500.
"As the reigning Mike Richter Award recipient, Jack has proven he's ready to take the next steps in his career," said Waddell. "We love his athleticism and consistency and can't wait for him to start his professional career."
LaFontaine, 24, earned a 12-8-0 record, 2.69 goals-against average and .900 save percentage in 20 NCAA games with the University of Minnesota in 2021-22. He was named the Big Ten Second Star of the Week on Nov. 2 after stopping 54 of 57 shots in a weekend sweep of Notre Dame. LaFontaine was named one of Minnesota's tri-captains prior to the start of the season after serving as one of the team's alternate captains last season.
The 6'2", 204-pound netminder posted a 22-7-0 record, 1.79 goals-against average, .934 save percentage and five shutouts in 29 games with the Gophers in 2020-21, leading all Division I goaltenders in wins and ranking tied for second in save percentage and shutouts and fourth in goals-against average. LaFontaine won the Mike Richter Award as the top goaltender in Division I and was also named Big Ten Goaltender of the Year, Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player, a First-Team All-American and a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top player in college hockey.
He played 96 collegiate games with Michigan and Minnesota from 2016-22, posting a 2.52 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and five shutouts.
The Mississauga, Ont., native played in the NAHL during the 2015-16 season, where he initially made his first NCAA Division I commitment to the University of Michigan. During that season, LaFontaine was named the Midwest Division Goalie of the Year. He also played for the NAHL Selects team at the 2016 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament. He finished the season with a 24-8-7 record in 41 games played. He rank in the Top 10 in both goals against average (2.16) and save percentage (.921). He also had four shutouts.
Following the 2015-16 NAHL season, he was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes (Round 3, #75 overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft.