Maxime Fortunus (D) 2009-2013
Maxime Fortunus (D)
La Prairie, Quebec
Stars Debut: October 2, 2009 at San Antonio
Stars Career Stats: 272 GP, 105 Points (29 Goals, 76 Assists), 94 PIMs
Maxime Fortunus is one of the Original Texas Stars, a select group of only eight players to appear in games in each of the four seasons of the team’s existence. The La Prairie, Quebec native is the only player in franchise history to wear the No. 18 sweater and he is one of eight players on the Stars to have sole possession of a jersey number.
Fortunus was undrafted after playing parts of five seasons of major junior hockey for Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL. He turned pro during the 2003-04 season, playing for the Louisiana IceGators of the ECHL and also earning a 12 game AHL call-up with the Houston Aeros. He returned to Louisiana for the 2004-05 NHL Lockout season, again getting called up to Houston, this time for 13 AHL games. Fortunus joined the Manitoba Moose for the 2005-06 campaign and appeared in 271 regular season AHL games for the Moose over the next four seasons. He signed with the Dallas Stars as a free agent on July 3, 2008 and played for Manitoba during the 2008-09 season, as Dallas was without a designated AHL affiliate that year. He saw Calder Cup Playoff action all four years, including reaching the 2009 Calder Cup Finals, where Manitoba lost to the Hershey Bears in six games.
Fortunus skated in the first ever game for the Texas Stars on October 2, 2009 at San Antonio and he holds the distinction of scoring the first goal in franchise history, a power play goal at 19:34 of the first period in a 3-2 loss to the Rampage. He played in 72 games for Texas during the 2009-10 season and made his NHL debut with Dallas on December 19, 2009 vs. Detroit; he played in eight total NHL games that year combined over two separate call-ups. Fortunus helped the Stars reach the 2009 Calder Cup Finals, but it must have felt like déjà vu as the defenseman lost to Hershey in six games for the second consecutive season. Perhaps his best single performance during the post-season game on May 11, 2010 in Game 7 of the West Division Finals at Chicago. Fortunus had a game-high three points (1 goal, 2 assists) and was named the third star of the game. He scored to tie the game at four early in the third period and then had the primary assist on Andrew Hutchinson’s game-tying goal at 13:50 of the third period, leveling the score at five and sending the game to overtime, where Jamie Benn scored the dramatic series-winning goal to lift the Stars to a 6-5 win.
Fortunus has appeared in 272 career regular season games for Texas, which is the most of any defenseman in team history and ranks fourth overall. He leads the franchise amongst defenseman in almost every offensive category: goals (29), assists (76), points (105), power play goals (11), power play assists (31) and shots (410). Selected as the third captain in team history for the 2012-13 season, he ranks fourth overall in assists and points, fifth in shots, ninth in goals and 13th in penalty minutes. Along with Colton Sceviour and Francis Wathier, Fortunus is one of only three players to play in all 39 Calder Cup Playoff games in Texas Stars history. He will be adding to his career Texas stats as he signed a new two-year AHL contract with the Stars on July 16, 2013.