Stephane Yelle played his junior hockey with the Oshawa Generals of the OHL from 1991 to 1994 and was the eighth choice of the New Jersey Devils in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. During his final season of junior he recorded 104 points.
Yelle was traded by New Jersey to the Quebec Nordiques on June 1, 1994, and made his pro debut in the AHL with the Cornwall Aces during the 1994-95 season.
In 1995-96, both he and the Nordiques franchise relocated to Colorado. The Nords became the Avalanche and Yelle became an NHL regular. Yelle played in 71 regular season games and 22 playoff games for the Avalanche in his first season en route to the Stanley Cup championship.
With the Avalanche, Yelle continued to improve on his checking and penalty killing skills. Strong on faceoffs and considered one of the premier defensive players in the league, injuries limited Yelle to 50 regular season games with Colorado in 2000-01, but he returned for the playoffs and contributed to the Avs' Stanley Cup victory at year's end. The Bourget, ON native played one more season in Colorado before being traded to the Calgary Flames prior to the 2002-03 season. Upon his arrival with the Flames, Yelle continued his strong play in his own end and was a key player in the team's drive to the 2004 Stanley Cup final.
On September 3, 2008, the career Western Conference player signed with the Boston Bruins in the east. Sadly, his time in Boston was short-lived however and the following summer, Yelle was again an unrestricted free-agent, this time choosing to sign with the Carolina Hurricanes.
On March 3, 2010, the NHL trade deadline, the veteran forward was shipped back to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll and a sixth round draft pick.