Center Derek Plante (5’11”, 181 lbs) registered 18 goals and 35 assists for 53 points and 19 penalty minutes in 57 games for the Philadelphia Flyers’ AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms, in 2000-01. He was recalled to the NHL twice last spring and tallied one goal and two assists in 12 regular season games for the Flyers. He also appeared in Philadelphia’s playoff series against the Buffalo Sabres, contributing an assist in five games.
Born 17 January 1971 in Cloquet, Minnesota, Derek Plante started playing hockey at the age of two. He still considers his father, Bruce, who is the hockey coach at Hermantown High School, as his best friend in hockey.
Derek played his junior hockey with the University of Minnesota-Duluth of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (1989-93). In 1991-92, he was named to the WCHA Second All-Star Team. In 1992-93, Derek was selected as USA Hockey's 1993 Athlete of the Year, was named to both the WCHA First All-Star Team and the NCAA West First All-American Team. He also led the league in goals, assists, and points.
Buffalo chose Derek in the eighth round (161st overall) of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. Derek won the Sabres' Fred T. Hunt Memorial Trophy as the club's rookie of the year in 1993-94. In 1997-98, Derek scored five power play goals for the second consecutive season, while notching 20-plus assists and at least one game-winning goal for the third-straight season.
Derek split the 1998-99 season with Buffalo and Dallas, scoring six goals and 14 assists in 51 games. He played in six playoff games and won his first Stanley Cup.
After being assigned to Dallas’ then IHL affiliate Michigan K-Wings, Derek was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks on February 8, 2000, with defenseman Kevin Dean and a second-round pick in the 2001 draft in exchange for defensemen Sylvain Côté and Dave Manson. He also played a couple of games with the Chicago Wolves of the IHL before he moved on to Philly where he signed as a free agent with the Flyers on July 26, 2000.
At the 1996 World Championships in Vienna, Derek helped his country win a silver medal. In their final game of the tournament, Derek scored the game-tying goal in the third period before Brian Rolston scored the overtime goal for the 4-3 win over Russia.
Derek hopes to stay involved in hockey after his playing career, either through coaching or scouting. He is also interested in baseball where he supports his homestate favorites, the Minnesota Twins.