Today, linesman Julien Fournier will be working his first NHL Regular Season game in Ottawa, Ontario when the Minnesota Wild visit the Ottawa Senators. He will be joined on the ice by referees Francois St.Laurent and Francis Charron while linesman Scott Cherrey will be working the lines with him.
The native of Gatineau, QC started his officiating journey at the early age of 13 in the AHMH (Hull Minor Hockey Association) officiating program to earn a few bucks as a youngster. He would go on and work mostly minor hockey games during his first few years primary due to his young age at the time. His size, presence and his outstanding work as an official were quickly recognized four years later, now being old enough to work higher level of hockey, when he was promoted as a linesman on the Quebec Provincial Officiating Staff. The former defenseman who had also just started college at that time, chasing his childhood dream of becoming a police officer, worked his way up the provincial officiating system over the following 4 years before finally reaching the Quebec Junior Major Hockey League (QJMHL) as a linesman in the summer of 2017. He was also invited to attend the NHL Officiating Combine that same summer in Buffalo, NY. Fournier found himself at a crossroad then; he had just completed the necessary three years in the Quebec Cegep system to become a policeman and had also completed an university certificate in Industrial Relationships and Human Ressources when things started to look good for him in the officiating world! He needed to make a decision between completing the final stage of his law enforcement education and entering the National Police Academy or to see where his officiating career would take him. In order to keep all of his options open, Fournier decided to work the hockey season first and to enter the police academy in the following off-season. The 2017-18 season ended up being a pivotal season in Fournier’s officiating career as he was invited to join the American Hockey League (AHL) as a linesman, a promotion that would have him being seeing more often by the NHL officiating managers. That Fall, he was also selected to work the World Under 17 Championship in Dawson Creek, BC, a tournament where he ended up dropping pucks in the Gold Medal game. His strong performances that season earned him once again an invitation to the summer NHL Officiating Combine (2018). Fournier went on and completed his police education that off-season by graduating from the National Police Academy in Nicolet, QC. The following September, Fournier decided to pack his bags and to move to South Carolina after accepting a full-time contract as a linesman in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). He worked the 2018-19 season primary in the ECHL but also skated in the AHL that year. He earned his first IIHF assignment later that season when he was called to work the World Championship Division 1 (Group A) in Grenoble, France. After coming back from his first international assignment that spring and after only one season in the ECHL, Fournier was selected to work the prestigious Kelly Cup Finals in the spring of 2019. He was offered a NHL minor leagues linesman contract in the summer of 2019.
The NHLOA and its members would like to congratulate Julien on his first NHL game and wish him a long and successful career.
Julien would like to thank his parents Daniel Fournier and Kathleen Lemieux for their support along the way. He also would like to acknoledge these people for making a difference in his officiating journey and helping him along the way; Charles Fecteau, Maxime Fecteau, Marc Lafontaine, Alexandre Côté, Maxime Mongeon-Charron, Nicolas Comtois, Nicolas Loyer, Serge Carpentier, Doug Hayward, Marc Maisonneuve, Shane Gustafson, Steve Sailor, Patrick Kelly, Stephen Thomson, Jason Rollin and Joseph Ersnt.