Welcome back to Top Shelf Hockey Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2017 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at centre Jaret Anderson-Dolan.
The 14th overall pick in the 2014 WHL Draft, Jaret Anderson-Dolan has proven to be a reliable player for the Spokane Chiefs. He is a team leader, on and off the ice. Anderson-Dolan put up 39 goals and 76 points for a Chiefs team that struggled this season and ended up missing the WHL playoffs. However, Anderson-Dolan did enough to impress the Team Canada brass, as he was not only named to the team for the 2018 Under 18 World Championships, but was also installed as Captain. Unfortunately it was a tournament that Canada and Anderson-Dolan would rather forget. He went pointless in five games, before the Canadian squad was eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Anderson-Dolan had more success at the international level at the 2015 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge. An alternate captain with Team Canada White, Anderson-Dolan helped the squad to a gold medal. He scored four goals in six games in the tournament. With a September 12th birthday, just three days before the draft cut-off, he is also one of the youngest players in the draft.
There is also a first here, on a personal level. Anderson-Dolan comes from a family where he has same-sex parents, a first for a top NHL Draft prospect. He is proud of his family and not afraid to tell his story.
Jaret Anderson-Dolan Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #37
Center — shoots Left
Born September 12th, 1999 — Calgary, Alberta
Height 5’11” — Weight 185 lbs [180 cm / 84 kg]
Anderson-Dolan is a very good skater. He has an outstanding first step, and great acceleration, as well as top end speed. Anderson can beat defencemen one-on-one. Once he gets a step on a defender, he can cut to the inside, drop his shoulder and drive the net. He has the strength and balance in his lower body to fight through checks and drive the net. He is hard to knock off the puck. Anderson-Dolan also has very good edge work and agility. He can make quick cuts and changes of direction.
Anderson-Dolan also uses his excellent skating to get in quickly on the forecheck, pressuring defenders into mistakes and creating turnovers. Once he does get a turnover, he uses his strength on the puck to protect the puck down low, and extend possession. More a goal scorer than a playmaker, Anderson-Dolan still shows some decent vision and passing skill.
Anderson’s dogged determination is also an asset around the net. He scores goals in tight to the goalie by using his soft hands after driving the net, or by knocking in rebounds, or a short one-timer on a quick pass. His wrist shot is also a weapon from further out as he has surprising power, and a quick release.
Anderson-Dolan has a well developed defensive game. His speed and quickness help him to get to loose pucks and he does this in all three zones. It also helps him to pressure puck carriers and cut down options for attackers. He is very good in transitioning a turnover into offence. Anderson-Dolan is a good penalty killer, and can be matched against an opponent’s top line. He could still stand to work on his positioning though, and on staying disciplined with his man, instead of chasing the puck.
Projection and Comparison
Jaret Anderson-Dolan projects as a two-way centre who can play big minutes, check top-lines, and be used in any situation. He will need to work on getting stronger, and continue to develop his game, but there is potential here. Its unclear though if he has the offensive upside to be a true number one centre. In terms of a stylistic comparison, his game is similar to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Edmonton Oilers. This is not a talent comparison though.
The following is a compilation of highlights, assembled from Youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect available on our draft board.