Coming in at #6: JOSH ANDERSON
6th out of 55 eligible players (2282 points)
Highest placement: #1 (2 ballots)
Most common placement: #5 (28 votes)
Birthdate: May 7, 1994
Birthplace: Burlington, Ontario
Weight: 221 lbs
Position: Right Wing
Acquired: Drafted by Columbus in Round 4 of the 2012 draft (#95 overall)
Josh Anderson’s season was briefly delayed due to prolonged contract negotiations. Once he arrived, however, he hit the ground running. By November, he was getting first line minutes as part of the “PBJ” unit with Artemi Panarin and Pierre-Luc Dubois. This included a five game point streak in late November in which he scored 3 goals and 4 assists.
Anderson was on pace for 20+ goals before a knee injury kept him out of the lineup for all of March. He finished with 19 goals and 11 assists in 63 games, after 17 goals and 12 assists in 78 games in 2016-17. He returned for the final two regular season games and played in all 6 playoff games. His 3 points in that series included a goal and assist in the Game 2 victory.
Despite being a top line winger for much of the season, it’s unclear where exactly Anderson fits in the lineup this season. It is expected that Cam Atkinson will stay with Panarin and Dubois on the top line. If Boone Jenner stays with Alexander Wennberg on the second line, does Anderson fit on the other wing? Or will he end up on the third line with Riley Nash?
Wherever he ends up, I expect him to finally eclipse 20 goals. His combination of size, speed, and scoring touch are such a great weapon to have in today’s NHL.