Dan Cloutier has always been very competitive.
When Dan was four and his brother Sylvain was six they played hockey in their unfinished basement, along with their dad Yvan and cousin Norbert. Dan, of course, played goalie.
"He was a real competitor growing up," Sylvain said. "He hated to lose, hated to get scored on. He'd get frustrated, walk away."
Dan's parents moved to the Soo for Sylvain and him, they only spoke French, and the Soo only spoke English.
Dan was pressured to join a winless team in a local league called the First Choice Haircutters he actually made the team win in his first game!
For two seaons he played with Sault St. Marie in the OHL. He also got a gold metal in the World Junior Championships.
He was later drafted to the Rangers. and became New York Rangers highest draft pick in 1994 and 26th overall. He won his first three cames against Washington, Carolina and Toronto.
He only won one game out of nine after that. All together in 97-98 he played in 12 games at 2.50 GAA and a .907 save percentage.
In 98-99 he was the the Rangers' backup to Mike Richter. He played in 22 games getting a 2.68 GAA.
The Rangers traded Cloutier to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 4th overall draft pick in the 1999 Entry Draft.
Cloutier had mixed feelings about leaving all of all the friends he had in NY when he was to be drafted to Tampa Bay. But he said that after he thought about it the new team he was going to could only get better.
After two years with the Lightning he was drafted to the Vancouver Canucks where he currently plays.