Born in Montreal, Quebec, Ian Lapperriere was a gritty and productive skater for three seasons with the QMJHL's Drummondville Voltigeurs. After averaging more than a point per game in 1991-92, he was selected 158th overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. Laperriere returned to junior in 1992-93 and led the QMJHL with 96 assists while accumulating 188 minutes in penalties. His solid year earned him selection to the QMJHL Second All-Star Team.
After spending one last year with Drummondville in 1993-94, Laperriere was a feisty addition to the St. Louis roster and made his NHL debut during the 1993-94 season while also seeing action with the team's AHL affiliate in Peoria. He went on to split his first two seasons with the Blues and Peoria (later became Worcester) before being acquired by the New York Rangers midway through the 1995-96 season for fellow grinder Stephane Matteau. However, Laperriere's stay on Broadway would be short lived, as the rugged winger was included in a multi-player transaction with the Los Angeles Kings in the latter stages of the season.
Over the course of the next eight seasons, Laperriere became one of the Kings most durable players, before opting to sign as a free agent with the Colorado Avalanche in the summer of 2004.
He quickly became a favorite with the Avalanche fans with his fearless style and relentless play. He would spend four seasons with the Avalanche, reaching milestones such as his 100th career goal and 1000th NHL game.
On July 1, 2009, Laperriere's time in Colorado would come to an end when he inked a three-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Laperriere was an instant hit with the Flyers faithful, but injuries would soon force the gritty winger to the press box. During the 2010 NHL playoffs he was hit in the face with a puck. The shot broke his orbital bone and caused a concussion. Many wondered if Laperrier was done for the season, but he returned to the Flyers' lineup during the Eastern Conference Final.
The following season Laperriere experienced symptoms of post-concussion syndrome during the NHL's pre-season. He was subsequently placed on long-term injured reserve and missed the entire 2010-11 campaign. Despite missing the entire season on the ice, Laperriere, always known as one of the toughest players in the NHL and a popular teammate, spent his time serving as a mentor to the Flyers younger players and helped the franchise in other off-ice capacities. For his efforts he was awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey.