Houle played in the imposing shadow of Marc-Andre Fleury at Cape Breton for two seasons. He had a phenomenal campaign for the Screaming Eagles, fueling much retrospective speculation as to why he was passed over by all 30 NHL teams at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Houle was ultimately drafted by the Flyers (8th round, 232nd overall), at the adamant suggestion of Quebec-based scout Simon Nolet.
2004-05: Houle finally emerged from the shadow of former mentor Marc-Andre Fleury in 2004-05, excelling in his first full season as a starter for Cape Breton and appearing in the QMJHL playoffs for the first time. In 56 games, he had a 26-18-5 record, including 6 shutouts, 2.51 GAA and a .911 save percentage.
2005-06: Houle earned Phantoms rookie of the year honors, keeping the team afloat while veteran jamie Storr was with the Flyers. He ended the season with a 18-18-1 record, 2.54 GAA and .914 save percentage.
2006-07: Houle emerged as the Phantoms starting netminder, ultimately beating out the favored-but-inconsistent Beauchemin after starting the campaign with the ECHL’s Trenton Titans. Houle entered this season as the incumbent, but a series of nagging injuries, coupled with the emergence of Munroe, derailed hopes of building upon his previous success. In 37 games with the Phantoms, Houle owned a 3.32 GAA and .893 save percentage, and a 12-17-2 record.
Al Alven contributed to this profile