Dan Daoust was considered too small by most NHL scouts and was not selected by any NHL team coming out of junior, this despite the fact he had three successful years playing with the Cornwall Royals, where he scored over 40 goals in two seasons while recording 103 points in his final season in 1979-80.
The Montreal Canadiens opted to take a chance on Daoust who listed his height and weight as 5'10" and 160 pounds, though he was somewhat smaller. They signed him as a free agent in 1980. He played two years in the AHL with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs where his offensive production garnered attention from the Habs and other NHL teams. In his first season, Daoust appeared in 80 games, scoring 38 goals and 60 assists for 98 points. He followed that up with a 65-point season in 61 games the following year. Given his lack of size, Daoust realized it would be grit and determination that would earn him a spot in an NHL lineup.
In 1982-83, Daoust was called up to the Montreal Canadiens where he played four games, tallying a lone assist. Soon thereafter, Daoust was off to join the Toronto Maple Leafs, where the bulk of his NHL career would be defined. In 48 games with the Leafs that year, Daoust contributed 18 goals and 33 assists for 51 points. He had high expectations for himself the following year, and he came through as promised. In 78 games, Daoust averaged almost a point per game, scoring 18 times while assisting on 56 others for 74 points. In 1984-85 he played in 79 games, but his production dropped a bit to 54 points. It turned out to be a sign for things to come. In 1985-86, he managed just 20 points in 80 games.
Daoust played a total of eight years in Toronto, becoming a fan favourite along the way. Despite his lack of size, he was always willing to stick his nose into a scrum. The final numbers for Daoust read 522 games played, 87 goals, 167 assists, 254 points, and 544 minutes in penalties.