An NHL player you never heard of made history Thursday night in Minnesota

Getty Images

Getty Images

Justin Fontaine made Minnesota Wild history on Thursday night, tallying three goals in the Wild’s 4-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.

The undrafted winger is in his rookie season with the Wild after signing an entry-level contract with the organization in April of 2011. It was the first hat trick of his career and the first time ever a member of the Wild recorded three goals in one game as a rookie, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Fontaine scored an even strength goal, a power play goal and completed his three-goal night with an empty netter with less than two minutes to go in the game.


At 26-years-old, he is the oldest player to register a hat trick as a rookie in the NHL since March 22, 2003 when Edmonton’s Fernando Pisani did so at the same age.

His 11 goals this season is enough to round out the top-three leading scorers on the Wild roster, behind Jason Pominville and Zach Parise. Pretty good company to keep when you’re a third-line rookie.

“(Hat tricks) aren’t the easiest thing to come by. I got a couple of nice bounces and that helps,”  Fontaine said. “Being a healthy scratch isn’t fun. But you pay your dues and you learn every day and you grow and with the guys we have out you want to make a contribution.”

Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom made 39 saves for his fifth win of the season.

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