Mathieu Dandenault has switched positions in his NHL career.
Mathieu Dandenault was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2nd round (49th overall) of the 1994 NHL Draft. Drafted as a forward, he converted to defenseman in the 2001-2002 season because of his defensive style and speed and showed he can be reliable on the back end.
While not an elite scorer by any means, he could produce offense if need be but was a defensive player by trade. For his career, Dandenault produced 68 goals and 135 assists for 203 points in 868 games and was a +42.
He spent the most successful part of his career with Detroit and played the last four years of his NHL career with the Montreal Canadians. He would be a part of three Stanley Cup-winning teams in Detroit (1997, 1998, 2002 ).
Dandenault was also successful away from NHL ice as he won a gold medal at the 2003 World Championships in Helinski, Finland. He would contribute two goals and three assists for five points in nine games.
Although Detroit had bigger names on the roster, Dandenault would play a big part in those Stanley Cups as he was solid in his own end and would push the puck up to the talented forwards. He did not receive enough recognition for his efforts as he was surrounded by Hall of Famers while with Detroit.
He was small in stature at 6-foot and 200 pounds but he played a big game in all three zones. He gave up scoring as he did in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Sherbrooke Faucons to help prevent goals and win championships.
Underrated, he had a good NHL career that was prolonged by the positional move to defense, which gave him more years to prove his worth.