Derek King had a well-earned reputation of being a steady scorer in his National Hockey League playing days. Sentimental Leafs fans will recall one King goal in particular—the final goal by a Leafs player in the last NHL game at venerable Maple Leaf Gardens on February 13, 1999 against Jocelyn Thibault of the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Hamilton, Ontario native scored 45 goals and added 53 assists in 161 games with Toronto from 1997 to 1999. King joined the Leafs as a free agent on July 3, 1997 and placed third in team scoring with 46 points and second with 21 goals behind Mats Sundin that first season. In 1998-99, he ranked fourth in team scoring with 52 points and he was one of six 20-goal scorers by tallying 24 times. King recorded one hat trick and one goal in overtime in just over two full regular seasons with the Leafs.
King was selected 13th overall in the 1985 NHL Draft by the New York Islanders. In 830 NHL games with New York, Hartford, Toronto and St. Louis, the left-winger compiled 612 points on 261 goals and 351 assists. He notched three 30-goal seasons, one of which was a 40-goal campaign.
King served as an assistant coach with the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies for many years following his playing career.