Montreal Canadiens winger Josh Anderson’s nickname with teammates and coaches is ‘Power Horse’ due to his impactful combination of speed, size and power. As the 28-year-old, 6-foot-3, 227-pound Anderson pointed out recently in a Canadiens.com interview, he first developed that main ingredient to his game playing for the London Knights (OHL) and the Hunter brothers, Dale and Mark.
“I think I was developed that way back in Junior, being coached by two guys who are well known in the Hunter brothers, [Dale and Mark], Anderson told Canadiens.com recently. “I was always that guy who was pretty skilled, a goal scorer, a playmaker and whatnot. They just developed me in the right way, and they said, ‘If you’re not scoring goals, you need to be flying down the wing, trying to run over people and being physical.”
Ironically, Mark, who coached Anderson during the 2011-12 season for the Knights, was drafted seventh overall by the Montreal Canadiens at the 1981 NHL Entry Draft and spent the first four seasons of his NHL career with the Canadiens. Following that season, in which he had 12 goals and 10 assists in 64 games for the Knights, Anderson was drafted in the fourth round (95th overall), by the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Dale, who was coaching the Washington Capitals during the 2011-12 season, would return to London to be Anderson’s head coach, and the Knights GM, for the next two seasons before the current Montreal Canadiens winger began his professional hockey career with the Springfield Falcons (AHL) and Blue Jackets in the 2014-15 season. Anderson would tally 50 goals and 50 assists in 127 games playing under Dale’s tutelage. That mentorship of Anderson honed in on speed to accentuate his size and its effectiveness.
“That’s what’s going to get you to the next level,” Anderson said. “You need to have other abilities to be involved in [the game] and try to help your team win.’ So, I think that made me into the player I am today, and I just carried that throughout my career, and I know that speed is probably my biggest asset.”
Anderson and the Montreal Canadiens are obviously hoping Anderson can become ‘Power Horse’ again and be better than the 19 goals and 13 assists in 69 games he had for the Canadiens last season. However, the question still remains whether or not Anderson will be a salary cap casualty before the 2022-23 season arrives in October. Thanks to the potential of his speed and power, Josh Anderson and the five years left on his contract that carry a $5.5MAAV, have been bantered about in NHL trade rumours since just before the 2021 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal on July 7-8.