Hope you all had a good Independence Day yesterday! The Devils Draft Prospect Series continued today with Brandon Gignac; yesterday, I took a look at Michael McLeod and Nathan Bastian, two OHL and hopefully two NHL teammates. Don’t forget to look through the “Draft Prospect Series” tag for the 2017 draft picks!
Joey Anderson has been one of the biggest (college) hockey surprises this past season and I’m glad he’s a New Jersey Devils prospect. The Devils selected him 73rd overall in the third round of the 2016 NHL Entry-Level Draft. The 19-year old right wing from Minnesota is 5′ 11″ and 201 pounds. He played two years with Hill-Murray School (USHS) before spending a few years within the U.S. developmental program; he committed to play college hockey at the University of Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA) and is slated to play a second season there this fall.
I’d say he had a pretty successful first season at UMD. He averaged almost a point per game and finished with an +11 +/- rating. He was named to the NCAA All-Rookie Team and was an NCAA champion. Here’s a link to a breakdown of his first year, courtesy of the official UMD website.
During the NCAA’s Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship in April, Minnesota made it all the way to the Championship game, defeating Ohio State, Boston University, and Harvard en route. He had an assist in the Championship game, the game-tying goal and an assist on the overtime winner during the Semifinal matchup against Harvard, a goal and an assist against Boston, and two assists against Ohio; he finished with seven points. Here’s an article from Twin Cities about Joey and the team on the cusp of the Frozen Four.
Here’s to hoping that Minnesota reaches the Championship again at the 2018 NCAA Ice Hockey Championship because it takes place in St. Paul.
Anderson also represented Team USA at World Juniors this past winter and is now a gold medalist. Though he only had two assists, he had a great tournament. Here’s a great article about him and his team at World Juniors.
Here are some highlights from the Gold Medal game, in which Team USA had to come back from a 2-0 and a 4-2 deficit:
Here are some of his highlights from World Juniors the year before:
Anderson’s been really fun to watch. Between all of the World Juniors games and the Frozen Four games, he’s one of the U.S.’s brightest hockey stars and has a great future ahead of him. He has amazing puck and hockey skills, and good hockey sense. He’s a great skater and sees the ice well. He has a good shot and while he won’t necessarily put up McDavid or Crosby-level points, he still has a ton of offensive upside. He still has a ton of development and growth to undergo but there’s no doubt that he could be great in a Devils lineup that severely lacks (true) right wings.
This is what Chris Dilks (SB Nation) had to say about Anderson’s NHL future: “As a best case scenario, I see Anderson developing into a Patrick Sharp-type of player that uses his tremendous shot and hockey smarts to be a very effective secondary scorer on the wing. Even on the low end, I think he could be effective as a bottom line winger because of his tough play and understanding of the game.”
I am excited to see Anderson play another year at UMD (and at development camp) and I’m hoping that he’ll get some NHL team the year after.