Despres was drafted by Saint John with the first overall selection in the 2007 QMJHL entry level draft. In his rookie season he scored a goal and 14 assists in 64 games. He was later named to QMJHL all rookie team.
Last season "the big horse" had two goals and 30 assists in 66 games played with the Sea Dogs. He became the first Sea Dogs player in team history to be drafted in the opening round when the Penguins selected him.
The defenseman played in the 2007 and 2008 ADT Canada/Russia Series, participated in the 2009 Home Hardware Top Prospects Game in Oshawa, Ont., and was the alternate captain for Team Canada at the World Under-18 Championship. He was surprisingly absent from Team Canada's world junior orientation camp during the summer.
In his two seasons with the Dogs, he has had a nagging hip injury that has kept him out of action several times.
Despres has a goal and two assists in five games this season.