By signing with the Nipawin Hawks of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, Jonah Fournier proved his doubters wrong.
Born in Canal Flats, B.C. and playing minor hockey in Invermere, the six-foot, 200 pound forward was told “I could never go anywhere.”
“It just means a lot showing that it’s possible and it’s doable,” said Fournier, of the opportunity with the Hawks after he had seven goals and 24 points in 35 regular season games as a rookie in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League with his hometown Columbia Valley Rockies. “I couldn’t have done that without the help of everyone around me. It was pretty sweet.”
Fournier is the first recruit of Hawks Head Coach and GM Tad Kozun. In a story in northeastnow.com, Kozun said he’s thrilled to have Fournier committed to Nipawin next season.
“I have watched a lot of videos and talked to some people and just the way he plays is something we need in our lineup next year,” said Kozun. “He can play the physical game, likes to get to the scoring areas, plays the right way night in, night out. Being able to have that in the lineup every game is something we’re excited about.”
Fournier described his playing style as a “heavy hitting power forward.”
“Someone on the ice you are glad to have on your team and you hate when you are playing against them,” he said. “They (Hawks) thought that my physical play would be a huge asset in their game.”
Fournier felt he had a pretty good season.
“My playoffs were definitely a better showcase of my ability for sure,” said Fournier, who had four goals and 11 points in 12 games. “I think it was the physicality of the playoffs. I fed off a lot of the energy produced by both teams and I play my best when I’m having fun and I’m having fun when I’m throwing the body.”
Fournier comes to the Hawks with two games of Junior A experience as he played with the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials as an affiliate player.
“It really opened my eyes to what I was actually capable of. I always thought I could play at that level,” he said. “That just showed me that I could.”