David Desharnais played three seasons with the QMJHL Chicoutimi Saguenéens, developing into a premier offensive talent in the league. In his rookie season, the Quebec City native played 70 games and scored 23 goals and 28 assists for 51 points, fourth on his team for points.
In 2004-05, he nearly doubled his production, scoring 32 goals along with 65 helpers for 91 points, second behind Maxime Boisclair. The center also showed a lot of passion for the game with everybody surrounding him, winning the Frank Selke Trophy for Sportsman of the league. He was named on the QMJHL second All-Star team.
It didn’t stop there as he once again was a prime offensive contributor in 2005-06. Desharnais scored 33 goals and 65 assists for 118 points, finishing fifth in the league in scoring, but third on his team behind Stanislav Lascek and Maxime Boisclair, his linemates. He won for the second consecutive year the Frank Selke Trophy and added another second team All-Star selection on his resume.
2009-10: A second go around with the Bulldogs would bring huge results for the undersized center, cashing in a 78 points season in 60 games. For his success, Montreal awarded him a brief six game stint, only registering one assist in his time with the Canadiens.
2010-11: The one-time ECHL Rookie of the Year was a fixture in the Montreal lineup over the second half after opening the year with AHL Hamilton. Desharnais scored 8 goals with 14 assists in 43 games for the Canadiens. Desharnais averaged just under 13 minutes of ice-time, mostly in a third or fourth line role and was -3 plus/minus with 12 PMs. Four of his eight goals were scored on the power play. Desharnais played in five playoff games for Montreal, missing the last two with a sprained knee. He had 1 assist with 2 PMs and was an even plus/minus. In 35 AHL games with Hamilton he scored 10 goals with 35 assists and was +14 with 24 PMs. He scored three short-handed goals for the Bulldogs. Desharnais was re-signed to a two-year contract by Montreal in June 2011.