Gaetan Royer was born March 13, 1976 in Donnacona, Quebec. A graduate of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Sherbrooke Faucons and Beauport Harfangs, Royer signed as a free agent with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1994.
A hard-nosed winger from Donnacona, Quebec, Royer spent three seasons in the QMJHL before making his minor professional debut in 1996-97. After splitting his season with the ECHL's Jacksonville Lizard Kings and the Blackhawks IHL affiliate in Indianapolis, Royer joined Canada's National Team in 1997-98 where he spent one season before signing with the AHL's Saint-John Flames the following year.
Royer went on to have stops in Grand Rapids and Michigan in the "I" before returning to Saint-John in 2000-01 where he captured a Calder Cup championship with the Flames. Coming off a Calder Cup championship the previous year, Royer went on to play in four different leagues during the 2001-02 season, with stops in the UHL, ECHL before signing with the AHL's Springfield Falcons and earning his first stint in the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning later on that season. Royer continued to jump around in 2002-03 seeing time with both the Jackson Bandits and the Pensacola Ice Pilots of the ECHL and the AHL's Springfield Falcons.