Derian Hatcher was drafted in the first round by Minnesota, eighth overall in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. He first donned a North Stars sweater during the 1991-92 season when he saw action in 43 games, playing his first NHL game on October 10, 1991 and scoring his first NHL goal only two days later. At the end of that season the North Stars named him their rookie of the year.
With the exception of a two game detour into the IHL, in 1992-93 he spent most of his season with the North Stars and represented the United States at the World Championships. His rights were transferred to Dallas when the franchise relocated in June 1993. A tough, physical defenseman, Hatcher racked up a career-high 211 penalty minutes during the 1993-94 season and was named the Stars top defenseman. From 1995-96 through 1997-98, Hatcher was playing 60-70 games a season for the Stars, logging plenty of ice time and missing games only due to recurring knee problems.
His hard work earned him a spot on the 1996 U.S. World Cup winning team, the 1997 NHL All-Star team, and the 1998 U.S. Olympic team. The big prize however, came at the end of the 1998-99 season, when, after 80 regular season and 18 playoff games, Hatcher became the first American-born captain of a Stanley Cup winning team. In 1999-2000, Hatcher missed 24 games with a calf injury, however upon his return, he only missed a total a four games and continued to be a tower of strength on the Dallas blueline.
After being voted to the NHL's 2nd All-Star Team in 2002-03, the former North Bay Centennial signed as a free agent with the Detroit Red Wings in the summer of 2003. Upon his arrival with the Red Wings, Hatcher was looking to be a key contributor on the club's blueline, however, he would miss the majority of the 2003-04 season recovering from a knee injury and subsequently was acquired by the Philadelphia Flyers in the summer of 2005.