The Cardiff Devils have announced the return of star blue liner Gleason Fournier for his fourth season in South Wales.
Fournier initially joined midway through the 2015-16 season and has been in Cardiff ever since, turning into one of the leagues premier offensive blueliners, putting up 44 points last season including 12 goals.
A former member of the Detroit Red Wings organisation, Fournier was selected in the third round of the 2009 draft, going on to win the AHLs Calder Cup with the Red Wings farm team Grand Rapids in 2013.
Head Coach Andrew Lord spoke about the signing saying ““Gleason is one of the best, if not the best skater in the EIHL. He has an ability to pick up the puck in his own end and go coast to coast with ease, but his speed lets him always get back into position on defence.
“His skating and offensive skill makes him dangerous every time he is on the ice and he gives us an added offensive element that can catch out a lot of teams. He has a cannon of a shot and scored some big goals for us the last 3 seasons.”
Bringing back Fournier was definitely a priority for the Devils after the departure of Andrew Hotham this offseason. Fournier might not play with as much physicality as Hotham but his offensive skill and defensive smarts make him a must sign player, who could even develop into a bigger role now with the absence of Hotham and Fournier a front runner to step into a top pairing role.
He’s a tremendous threat on the powerplay, something the Devils excelled at last year with the leagues best powerplay. He’ll get an even bigger role this year so expect his numbers to increase again.
At 26-years-old, Fournier still has time to take his game even higher, and given his natural instincts to find the back of the net, it wouldn’t be a surprise to many if the EIHL Defenceman of the Year award stays in Cardiff with Fournier
The Devils have seven skaters are two goalies locked up the 2018/19 season, and with pre-season coming up fast they should be a busy team over the next few weeks.