Chicago Blackhawks defenseman prospect Dillon Fournier has retired from professional hockey. The news was confirmed by Jim Nice, Fournier’s agent, to Scott Powers of The Athletic.
Fournier, 22, made the decision as a result of chronic shoulder injury issues. He initially suffered a major shoulder injury in 2014 and has subsequently undergone multiple procedures. Powers says those setbacks “took a toll on a Fournier physically and mentally.”
The Blackhawks selected Fournier with the No. 48 overall pick in the second round of the 2012 NHL draft. He spent the past three seasons bouncing between the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs and ECHL’s Indy Fuel when he wasn’t sidelined by injury.
During the 2016-17 season, Fournier played just four games with the Fuel (and none with the IceHogs) due to injury. Overall, he appeared in a total of 23 AHL games and 45 ECHL games before calling it quits this week.
Fournier is a good example of how injuries can sidelined a talented young player before he’s able to tap into his potential. The first shoulder injury came when he was just 19 years old, and as a result of all the time he missed, he struggled to make progress developing into a high-level player. The potential was always there, which is why he was a top-50 pick in 2012, but it’s telling that he played only 68 professional games with Blackhawks affiliates before retiring.