Photo by Andrew Knapik/MiHockey

BCHL team announces signing of Jack LaFontaine, says he will still return to Michigan

By @MichaelCaples –

The Michigan Wolverines have had a crowded crease these past two seasons, as sophomores Hayden Lavigne and Jack LaFontaine have battled for playing time.

In the second half of the 2017-18 campaign, it was Lavigne emerging as the starter, as 6-foot-3, 200-pound native of Brampton, Ont., led Michigan to the Frozen Four.

Now, the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League have announced that they have signed LaFontaine for the upcoming season.

According to the team release, the 1998 birth-year goaltender “will play his 20-year-old season with the Vees before returning to the University of Michigan for the 2019-20 season.”

UPDATE: LaFontaine has confirmed that the above statement from the Vees is what he has agreed upon with the Michigan coaching staff.

A University of Michigan spokesman said the team will not be issuing a comment on the situation at this time.

It is unique to see a player leave after two seasons with the intention of returning to the same program.

LaFontaine, a Carolina Hurricanes draftee, played in 11 games last season. He recorded a 4-4-0 record with a 3.51 goals-against average and .889 save percentage.

The Wolverines have yet to announce a finalized recruiting list for the upcoming season, but they do have a verbal commitment from Strauss Mann, a native of Connecticut who just led the Fargo Force to a USHL title.