SAGINAW, MI – Saginaw Spirit General Manager Dave Drinkill announced Thursday, the team have made a trade with the Hamilton Bulldogs acquiring defenseman D.J. King in exchange for a second round pick in 2021 (BAR) and a fourth round pick in 2022 (SAG).
“Heading into this season, we felt it was very important to acquire an older, more experienced defenseman to solidify our backend,” said Drinkill. “D.J. King is a player we targeted and have liked for a while now going back to his OHL draft year.”
King, 19, hails from Northport, New York but moved to the Greater Toronto Area to play minor hockey for the Mississauga Rebels. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound, left shot, defenseman was drafted by the Bulldogs in the second round, 39th overall, in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection.
“He is a bit of a throwback that adds size, character, and edge to our back end. We feel we can help him continue to develop the offensive side of his game. With the departures of Murray, O’Grady and Davis, the addition of King goes a long way in helping to stabilize our defense core, moving forward.”
After two seasons playing at the United States National Development Program, King committed to the Bulldogs prior to the 2018-19 season. The rugged rearguard scored two goals and five assists for seven points in 50 regular season games during the 2018-19 season.
“I am very excited about this new opportunity with the Saginaw Spirit,” said King. “I want to thank the Bulldogs for everything. It is sad to leave the great friends I made there, but I am looking forward to meeting my new teammates and getting started in Saginaw.”
D.J. is the son of retired NHL veteran and current head coach of the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs, Derek King. King played in 830 NHL games between the New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the St. Louis Blues from 1987-2000. King is an OHL graduate playing for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Oshawa Generals from 1984-87. In 1985, King was awarded the Emms Family Award for Rookie of the Year and was an OHL First Team All-Star in 1987. King is a two-time OHL Champion, winning the J. Ross Robertson Cup with the Soo in 1984-85 and Oshawa in 1986-87.
D.J. King will report to Saginaw for the start of training camp on August 26 and will wear Number 72 for the Spirit this season.