Fourth Walleye to Commit to School This Season
Oliver Paipoonge, ON - The Kam River Fighting Walleye are pleased to congratulate 20 year old defenceman Zach Fortin on his commitment to the Lakehead University Thunderwolves hockey club.
“It’s an honour to play at my hometown university in front of my family, friends, and mentors,” Fortin said. “I would like to thank the Kam River Fighting Walleye for everything they have done for me this year, making me a better person on and off the ice. They continue to help me develop my game and reach my potential. I would also like to thank my parents for everything they have done for me over the years with their continuous support. I can’t wait to have them in the stands for the years to come and be a Thunderwolf!”
The Thunder Bay native, in his final season of junior hockey, was named the SIJHL Top Defenceman for 2021-22, a season in which he led the league in points by a blue liner with 44 in 42 games. Fortin captained the Fighting Walleye to a 1st place regular season finish and a birth in the Bill Salonen Cup Finals.
“Zach has had an impressive year, he definitely fits the type of player and person we are looking to add to our program,” said Thunderwolves head coach Andrew Wilkins. “Zach always plays a big role into team success. He has been put in a situation to play big minutes for his team and shown that his game is continuing to evolve. Zach is a standout leader by example and with his contagious style of play. It’s a good fit with our group and helps compliment our young D core,” Wilkins said.
Fortin began his junior career with the Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL), suiting up in 68 games over two seasons for the major junior club. He then joined the Timmins Rock (NOJHL), playing 32 games for the club in two pandemic-shortened seasons. Prior to his junior career, Fortin was a member of the Thunder Bay Kings AAA program from 2013 to 2018.
“Our organization couldn't be happier for Zach on his commitment to Lakehead,” commented Kam River general manager Kevin McCallum. “He has been a huge asset for us and a true leader, and he’s chosen an amazing university to continue his education and play the game he loves. Zach is a special player and most importantly an amazing person. We look forward to seeing him in the Thunderwolves jersey and following his and his new teams’ future accomplishments,” McCallum concluded.