17 yr old Defenceman, Mike Fogolin, the son of former NHL player Lee Fogolin, passed away in his sleep last night. Young Mike just completed his rookie season with the Prince George Cougars and at 17 was about to enter his second season with the Cats in 2004/2005. Cause of death has not been determined at this time. My heart goes out to the Fogolin family and I with them the best at this very difficult time.
Here is Thursday's Prince George Citizen article...
Cougars Mourn Defenceman
The response, from all who heard the tragic news, was that of shock.
Mike Fogolin, who turned 17 on March 17, just three days after the Cougars completed the regular season, died in his sleep at his home in Edmonton on Wednesday.
An autopsy will be performed, but results are not expected for up to four months. All indications point to natural causes, possibly cardiac arrest, but at this point pinpointing a cause is pure speculation.
Fogolin passed away in his bed at approximately 3 a.m. after spending a quiet evening at home with his parents, Lee and Carol, and his older brother Rory, a former AJHL player. Lee Fogolin is the former captain of the Edmonton Oilers, and a two-time Stanley Cup champion who spent 13 years in the NHL, and Lee's dad Lideo, Mike's grandfather, played nine seasons in the NHL with Detroit and Chicago.
"We don't even know what to say. What sad news, so tragic," said an emotional Cougars business manager Brandi Brodsky, who billeted Fogolin prior to Christmas last season.
"He was from a different mold. You want to know what he was doing (Tuesday) night? He played cards with his mom, his dad and his brother. In the middle, he had to go mail his fitness test off to the Cougars, because he didn't want (head coach Lane Lambert) to think he was slacking off. It was a nice family evening. This is such a shock, with no warning."
Fogolin was drafted in the fourth round, 58th overall, by the Cougars in the 2002 WHL bantam draft. He made the team as a 16-year-old, playing in 42 games this past season, scoring twice and adding three assists.
Fogolin had no known major health problems. He missed time during the season with scafoid (hand/wrist) and knee injuries, and had wisdom teeth removed a week ago.