For three consecutive years Bannister and the Soo Greyhounds played in the Memorial Cup, the showcase event for junior hockey in North America. They won the trophy in 1993, with Bannister making the tournament all-star team in the process, and he finished his amateur career with a gold medal at the World Junior championships in 1994.
Bannister was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the 1992 Entry Draft and after brief stays with Edmonton and Anaheim, he returned to the Lightning in 1998 after a series of four trades in just a year and a half. Tampa sent him to the Oilers, but just 35 games later over two partial seasons he went to the Ducks for Bobby Dollos.
The Ducks kept him just 27 games, and he was back to the Lightning where he was reunited with two of his Greyhound teammates, goalies Kevin Hodson and Dan Cloutier, but the team never made the playoffs.