Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Dillon Fournier has announced his retirement from hockey due to a chronic shoulder injury. The 22 year-old defender was drafted by the Blackhawks in the 2nd round (48th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft but has struggled to stay in the lineup at the AHL and ECHL levels since suffering the injury in 2014.
In the three years since his injury, Fournier has had multiple surgeries that have allowed him to only play a combined 13 games in two seasons.
Blackhawks head of amateur scouting Mike Kelley, who first scouted and drafted Fournier out of the QMJHL, said he feels for the young man. “I think the hardest decision you ever make is when you decide you’re not going to play anymore. My first player personnel decision was when I stopped playing. The game is so much fun. I think what everyone misses the most is the camaraderie and the time in the locker room and teammates. I’m sure that’s the same for Dillon.”
Fournier’s agent, Jim Nice, had nothing but good things to say about the way the Hawks handled Fournier’s situation. “The Hawks were great about it,” Nice said. “I can’t say enough good things about the organization. They’ve been really supportive. Ultimately, it just didn’t make sense for him to put himself through it again.”
So long Dillion Fournier, we hardly knew ye. All the best to you in the future.