OTTAWA - Andre Benoit's road to the NHL had more bumps than Bank St. on an early spring day.
One of the best junior defenceman in Canada over his last three seasons (2002-05) with the Kitchener Rangers, he had 70 goals and 219 points in 197 games. He wasn't huge, but he wasn't the smallest blue-liner, either. He wasn't the best skater, but he wasn't the worst. And he was a smart player.
Still, for whatever reason, Benoit didn't get drafted.
Determined to prove people wrong, the St. Albert native turned a free-agent tryout into two seasons in the Montreal Canadiens system. He then went to Europe for a couple of years, returned to the AHL for three more, and then spent a season in the KHL.