Mathieu Chouinard was a highly regarded goalie prospect playing for the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the first round, 15th overall of the 1998 entry draft. He did could not agree to a contract with the Senators and was once again eligible for the entry draft in 2000. Once again, he was drafted by the Senators, this time in the second round, 45th overall. He played a couple of season in the IHL/AHL and spent some time with the Binghamton Senators of the AHL. In 2003-4 he got his first opportunity in the National Hockey League, playing in 4 games with the Los Angeles Kings. He was then sent down to their minor league team in the American Hockey League and spent part of the 2003-04 season in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).