Verstraete was born in Pincher Creek, Alberta but grew up in Calgary. As a youth he played every sport you could think of, but hockey was his calling. He became a crowd favorite with the WHL's Calgary Wranglers.
He was known more for his penalty minute totals than any scoring stat, but he caught the eye of the National Hockey League scouts. The Toronto Maple Leafs drafted Verstraete 192nd overall in 1982.
From 1982 to 1988 Verstraete mostly toiled with the Leafs farm teams in St. Catherines and Newmarket, fighting all comers in the minor leagues - no easy job.
He did get called up for a total of 8 NHL games spanning 3 different seasons. He got into two fights in the big leagues, fighting Moose Dupont and Bob Brooke according to HockeyFights.com
Verstraete's hockey career came to an end after breaking his leg early in 1988. He took the opportunity to return home to Calgary and finish his high school diploma before enrolling at the University of Calgary earning a bachelor's degree. He went on to become an account executive with Tie Communications before working in Business Development with several oil and gas companies.