Cournoyer is a fresh face on the national team, with 2013-14 just the third season in which he will compete internationally. He competed at two World Cups in 2011-12, winning his first medal in his very first World Cup appearance when he captured 1500m bronze in Nagoya, Japan in December 2011. He was also part of the silver medal-winning relay team at the World Cup in Shanghai in December 2011.
He competed in the last three World Cups of 2012-13 and won his second career individual medal in Dresden in February 2013, taking 1000m silver. Cournoyer made his world championship debut in 2013. Although he did not skate in any of the individual events, he was a member of the gold medal-winning 5000m relay team alongside Charles Hamelin, Olivier Jean and Michael Gilday.
Cournoyer earned his spot on the Olympic team after finishing among the top-three men at the Canadian selection trials in August 2013 where he posted five second place finishes and was in the A final in eight of the nine races.