Oliver Paipoonge, Ontario - The Kam River Fighting Walleye are pleased to announce the acquisition of 2001-born defenseman Zach Fortin from the Timmins Rock (NOJHL), in exchange for a player development fee.
The 5’10” 185 pound Thunder Bay product played for the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL from 2018 to 2020, suiting up in 63 regular season games for the club.
“When the opportunity to add Zach Fortin came about it was done without hesitation, especially with himhaving two years of Major junior experience,” said Kam River General Manager Kevin McCallum. “Zach injects so much into our line up and dressing room. He elevates everyone around him on and off the ice,” McCallum said.
“I'm looking forward to playing in my hometown in front of my family and friends for my final year of junior hockey,” said Fortin.
Following his stint in the “Q” Fortin moved to Timmins and posted 13 points in 32 games over parts of two seasons with the Rock.
“I'm very proud to officially welcome Zach Fortin to the Kam River family,” said Head Coach Matt Valley. “Our organization has always strived to ensure that the players we bring in are capable of fostering and maintaining a positive culture and sense of community on and off the ice. The addition of Zach epitomizes that. Hockey pedigree and skill set aside; he will be a major add for us as a strong presence in our room and in this league. His workhorse mentality coupled with his relentless and resilient nature make him someone to build around. He fits our team's identity very well. It's going to be exciting working with this group next season,” Valley concluded.
Prior to the start of his junior career, Fortin was a perennial All-Star for the Thunder Bay Kings organization, suiting up for the AAA club every year from his U13 season onward.
“When I called Zach to let him know the deal was done, his first response to me was 'what can I do to help the organization, as I'm ready and willing to do anything to make our team a success,' ” continued
McCallum. “That’s when I knew we made a great decision. Zach is excited to play in front of his family and home town fans, and we are just as excited to see him in our line up.”
The club will get their first look at Fortin on the ice the week of August 24th, when the Fighting Walleye prospect camp takes place, followed by the start of their main training camp. Hockey players born 2001 to 2005 that are interested in trying out for the team can register for the prospect camp at www.fightingwalleye.com.