A gigantic defenceman standing 6'6", Dean Kolstad kept the front of his net clear, moved the puck efficiently, and had a decent shot from the point. Outside of a 40-game stint in the NHL over three seasons, he was a successful minor pro worker in three different leagues.
Kolstad played with the Langley Eagles of BCJHL and then the New Westminster Bruins of the WHL. He later joined the Prince Albert Raiders part way through the 1985-86 season and was chosen 33rd overall by the Minnesota North Stars in that summer's NHL Entry Draft. The hulking blueliner scored a combined 105 points in 1987 and 1988 and was placed on the WHL East second all-star team both years.
Kolstad played 25 games for the North Stars in 1988-89 and scored six points while providing physical presence on blueline. Kolstad scored 50 points in 1989-90 for Kalamazoo and was voted on to the IHL's second all-star team. He joined the North Stars at the pre-season Friendship Tour in September 1990 and was called up for five games later that season. Minnesota had too many defencemen so Kolstad spent most of the year with the Kalamazoo Wings and Kansas City Blades in the IHL.
Looking for some size on the blueline, the expansion San Jose Sharks picked Kolstad in Dispersal Draft on May 30, 1991. In 1991-92, he anchored the Kansas City Blades' blueline and scored 29 points in 74 games. The next season he played ten games for the Sharks then returned to the minors. Over the next few seasons, Kolstad toiled in the IHL, AHL, and Western Pro League before retiring in 1998.