Goaltender Mark LaForest was a reserve with six NHL clubs in the 1980s and '90s. His greatest success came in the minors, especially the AHL.
Born in Welland, Ontario, LaForest was a junior standout in the OHL with the Niagara Falls Flyers and North Bay Centennials. In April 1983, he was signed as a free agent by the Detroit Red Wings and gained valuable seasoning with the AHL's Adirondack Red Wings and the Kalamazoo Wings of the IHL.
In 1985-86, the youngster toiled admirably during 28 appearances behind the last place Wings' woeful defence. He enjoyed a fine season in the minors with Adirondack in 1986-87 when he led the AHL with three shutouts and won the Baz Bastien Memorial trophy as the top goalie in the league. Laforest was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in June 1987 and went on to play 21 games the next year in relief of Ron Hextall. After the club acquired Ken Wregget, Laforest was deemed expendable and was sent to the Toronto Maple Leafs on the eve of the 1989-90 season.
During the 1989-90 season, Laforest split the Toronto goaltending chores with Allan Bester and Jeff Reese. He posted a decent 3.89 goals against mark on a team that was only concerned with scoring goals. Laforest was traded to the New York Rangers in the off-season and recorded consecutive 25-win seasons for Binghamton of the AHL in 1991 and 1992. In 1991, he was named to the league's second all-star team and won another Baz Bastien trophy. He was claimed by the Ottawa Senators in the 1992 Expansion Draft and played five games for the club in 1993-94. Laforest continued to ply his trade in the minors and retired after playing a few games for Utica Blizzard of the Colonial League in 1997-98.