Born in Cordenous, Italy on New Year's Eve, 1947 left winger Nelson Debenedet was in North America when he began laying the groundwork for his NHL career. Debenedet spent three years with the Michigan State Spartans, then turned pro with the Fort Wayne Comets and returned to school and played a year with the University of Toronto before signing an NHL contract in 1971. Debendet signed with the Detroit Red Wings and spent the next two seasons playing minor pro but made his NHL debut during the 1973-74 season.
Debenedet played 15 games with the Wings and scored four goals and five points. He spent the rest of that campaign in the American Hockey League. On May 27th 1974 Debenedet was traded by the Red Wings to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
With the Penguins Debenedet hit career highs in all categories scoring six goals and nine points in 31 games. It was the final season Debenedet played at the National Hockey League level.
After spending the 1975-76 toiling for the Penguins farm club in Hershey Debenedet retired from hockey.