Dean Hopkins was a 2nd-round selection of the Los Angeles Kings, 29th overall in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft, and considered to be one of the most talent-laden drafts in NHL history.
As a kid growing up in southern Ontario, Hopkins advanced through his local minor hockey system before joining the OHA's London Knights in 1975 as a 16-year-old. As a rookie, he scored 18 points in 53 games. The next two years he scored 19 goals before putting together a strong final season in 1978-79, when he recorded 37 goals and 92 points in 65 games.
Hopkins broke in as a rookie with the Kings in 1979-80, starting 60 games, scoring eight goals and 14 points. He increased that to 26 points the following year. He played two more years with the Kings before spending a season in the minors with the New Haven Nighthawks. Midway through the 1984-85 season, his rights were obtained by the Edmonton Oilers and he played with their minor-league affiliate in Nova Scotia before being called up to Edmonton for one game during the 1985-86 season.
He continued to play in the Oilers' organization with the Nova Scotia Oilers for two more years before moving on to play for the Halifax Citadels in 1988-89. During that season, he was called up for five games with the Quebec Nordiques, which were his final five games as an NHL player. Hopkins played two more years in Halifax before retiring after three games into the 1990-91 season.