2008-09: Samuel Noreau played midget hockey for the Lac St. Louis Tigers and was selected by Baie-Comeau in the fifth round (76th overall) of the 2009 QMJHL Priority Draft.
2009-10: Noreau appeared in 34 games as a rookie for a Baie-Comeau team that won just 21 games and finished last in the QMJHL’s Eastern division. Noreau scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was -16 with 17 PMs.
2010-11: Noreau established himself as one of the tougher players in the Quebec League on a Baie-Comeau team that was again one of the worst in junior hockey – winning just twelve games and finishing last in the East division. In 67 games, Noreau scored 5 goals with 5 assists while racking up 141 PMs. Given the Drakkar’s struggles, Noreau’s -13 plus/minus ranking was somewhat respectable on a team that was out-scored by opponents 266-151. Noreau was ranked 183rd amongst North American skaters by Central Scouting in the final rankings and selected by the Rangers in the 5th round (136th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.
2011-12: Noreau skated with the other Rangers prospects in the Traverse City Tournament and appeared to use the tournament as a springboard for a strong third junior season with Baie-Comeau. He provided toughness on the back line while chipping in with 5 goals and 12 assists in 58 games. Noreau’s 92 penalty minutes were second only to team-leader Gabriel Verpaelst (second in the league with 173 minutes). After finishing last in the East Division the Drakkar reached the second round in the QMJHL playoffs. Noreau was an even plus/minus with no points and 18 penalty minutes in 8 playoff games.
2012-13: Noreau was one of two defensemen to top 30 points for a powerful Baie-Comeau team that finished first in the East Division and reached the QMJHL Finals. He scored 7 goals, all on the Drakkar power play, and had 25 assists in 66 games; finishing +19 with 64 penalty minutes. Baie-Comeau lost to eventual Memorial Cup champion Halifax in the finals and in 15 playoff games Noreau scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was -2 with 12 penalty minutes. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Rangers in May, 2013.
2013-14: Noreau skated in five games for Rangers’ AHL affiliate Hartford in his first pro season — spending most of the year with the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors. Noreau was -1 with no points and 6 penalty minutes playing in the AHL. He scored 1 goal with 9 assists and was +16 with 90 penalty minutes in 61 games for Greenville. The Road Warriors finished third in the South Division before reaching the Eastern Conference finals against Cincinnati. Noreau had 4 assists and was +8 with 29 penalty minutes in 14 playoff games.
2014-15: Noreau appeared in four AHL games with Hartford in his second pro season and played in 67 of 68 regular season games for the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors. He had no points and was -1 with 13 penalty minutes in four games with the Wolfpack. Noreau scored 2 goals with 11 assists and was +1, finishing second to Emerson Clark with 114 penalty minutes for the Road Warriors. Greenville missed the playoffs despite winning 39 of 72 games, finishing two points behind Orlando for the final spot in the competitive East Division.
Noreau is a huge, hard-nosed, stay-at-home blueliner who likes to take the body, as well as drop the gloves and intimidate to protect his teammates. Questions exist, however, as to his skating, positioning and hockey sense.
Noreau is entering the third year of his original entry-level contract with the Rangers. He has spent most of the first two seasons in the ECHL, playing nine games with the AHL's Hartford Wolfpack. He will look to challenge for a spot with the Wolfpack in 2015-16.