NHL Draft Prospect #63: Dillon Fournier
Selected 48th Overall by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Dillon Fournier is a veteran of the draft game. The Montreal native was the first overall pick in the 2010 QMJHL draft, taken by the Lewiston MAINEacs. When the team folded following the 2010-11 season, Fournier was made the 1st Overall pick in the QMJHL dispersal draft, this time going to the Rouyn-Norenda Huskies. After making great strides in his sophomore year, at both ends of the ice, Fournier had to be shutdown for the year in early March as a lingering shoulder issue required surgery, and Fournier became yet another victim of the 2012 Draft Injury Curse.
Born Jun 15 1994 — Montreal, PQ
Height 6.01 — Weight 160 — Shoots Left
Fournier is an excellent skater. He has good top end speed and quick acceleration. He uses his edges well and makes tight precise turns and pivots. Defensively, his plus-level skating allows him to take additional offensive chances in the QMJHL and still recover defensively.
Fournier is an offensive minded Dman. He loves to rush the puck and is a very good stickhandler, and is adept and protecting the puck. He has good vision and makes crisp accurate passes on both the breakout and in the offensive zone. He has a hard wrist shot and a good release, but could stand to improve on its accuracy. His slapshot gets decent velocity but can also be a little wild. We would however like to see him use it more. Fournier is an intelligent player who understands when to pinch and when not to, and almost always makes the smart play in the offensive end of the rink.
Fournier’s defensive game is still a work in progress. At 6’1″ he has a decent sized frame for a defenceman. However, at just 160 lbs, he really needs to bulk up. This is especially evident in board battles, and when Fournier is guarding the front of his own net. He is often overpowered by opposing forwards, and needs to rely on his stick checking ability to prevent scoring chances. He definitely tries hard though, so the added bulk would be a big plus. Unfortunately for Fournier it will be difficult to add a lot of bulk this offseason due to having to rehab the shoulder. This could mean it will have to wait a while for Fournier to gain the strength he needs. Fournier is a decent enough positional defender, and works hard, so we think this is an area of his game that will improve.
Fournier is an intriguing NHL prospect. He is a good puckmover and can be an offensive weapon. His skills fit in well with the current NHL game, and we believe that he has top 4 potential. We’d compare Fournier’s maximum potential as being able to develop into a player similar to Joni Pitkanen of the Carolina Hurricanes.
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