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Andre Benoit
 
Jersey Number: #16
Junior Experience: 4 Years
Date of Birth: Jan 6, 1984
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 190lbs
NHL Status: Free Agent
How Acquired: 1st round '00 Bantam
 
After the Rangers' successes in taking Derek Roy near the top of the draft list in 1999, the Rangers elected to select another French-speaking player from the Ottawa region in the first round of what turned out to be a very thin draft for Kitchener.  After playing defense in Pentang Jr. C, Benoit was drafted by the Rangers with the intent of moving him up to the forward position by former Rangers' GM Jamie McDonald.  During Benoit's rookie season, he spent most of his playing time on the Rangers' second forward line in a season that would ultimatley end in disappointment being eliminated by the Guelph Storm on the final day of the regular season.  Benoit was named rookie of the year after collecting 25 points.

The 2001-'02 season was one filled with change for both Benoit and the Kitchener Rangers.   An experienced lineup, along with a new face behind the bench as well as filling the GM position, Peter DeBoer brought new hope as well as a new look to the Kitchener Rangers hockey club.  The Rangers acquired the services of overaged defender: Nick Policelli formerly of the Belleville Bulls to start the season, however going into the trade deadline the Rangers felt that they could use more blueline help.  The Rangers chose to look within their own organization, being a former defender, Benoit was asked to fill a spot on the Rangers' blueline.  Benoit accepted the challenge and was often seen on a line with Marcus Smith.  Benoit would remain at the defense position, bringing his career full circle.

By the time Benoit had reached his third season with the Rangers, he was developing a deadly wrist shot from the point and becoming more and more a powerplay specialist recording some extremely high point totals.  Without Eminger in the lineup Benoit was relied upon to create offense from the point and as a rather big sleeper, he snuck up with little fanfare and won the defensive scoring title with his 67 points including a career high 22 goals.  During the postseason, Benoit again lead the Rangers' defensive corps in points, tallying a total of 17 in only 21 OHL playoff games.  During the OHL finals, Andre Benoit was able to play infront of family and friends in the nation's capital: Ottawa.

In Benoit's fourth season with the Rangers he has claimed the OHL defensive scoring title for the second straight year.  Unfortunately for Benoit it was a season of rebuilding for the Rangers, at season's end both he and Thomas Harrison were the only defenders left from the Rangers' championship team.  Often Benoit would be called upon to play well in excess of 30 minutes per night and the sometimes excessive playing time would not negatively affect his sky-high plus/minus rating which finished the season at a career-high of: +30.

In each of Benoit's four OHL seasons, he has increased both his assist and point totals.  Throughout his career Andre has been recognized as one of the more sportsmanlike and talented defenders in the league.  He has also stayed tremendously healthy during his OHL career, only missing time to attend to personal matters and last season to attend team Canada's camp for the World Junior Championships.  After having his head driven into the ice by a London Knights' player, the cut on his forehead required 8 stitches, being the fighter that he was Benoit wanted to return to the ice for the Rangers that night, something that he would not be permitted to do.  Two nights later however, Benoit would play in an Exhibition game against team Russia in London at the John Labatt Center.  With his 75 points to nearly leading the team in scoring, and ice time made him an easy choice for team MVP.


Season
GP
G
A
P
PIM
+/-
PPG
SHG
2000-2001 Kitchener Rangers
65
16
19
35
37
-4
4
0
2001-2002 Kitchener Rangers
62
13
32
45
77
20
6
2
2002-2003 Kitchener Rangers
65
22
45
67
77
23
12
1
2003-2004 Kitchener Rangers
65
24
51
75
67
30
12
0
Career Totals
227
75
147
222
258
69
34
3
Photography provided by: Stephen Gardiner