2016-17 Team: Waterloo Blackhawks (#24)
Date of Birth: May 25, 1999
Place of Birth: Roseville, Minnesota
Ht: 5’11” Wt: 194 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2017 first-year eligible
- THW (Pike’s Picks): not ranked (final)
- Future Considerations: 75th (final)
- ISS: not ranked (May)
- Bob McKenzie: honourable mention (Mid-season)
- Craig Button: 99th (final)
- The Hockey News: 70th (final)
In a lot of ways, Minnesota product Mikey Anderson is a complete throwback. In an era of hybrid defenders who are adept at skating and puck possession, Anderson is more of a 1990s style of defender. Stylistically, Anderson is meat and potatoes – there’s not a ton of sizzle to his game, but his steak is pretty effective at what it needs to do.
There’s really nothing flashy about Anderson’s game, but he’s very poised and consistent. He’s skilled at cutting down the angles in the defensive zone, and seems to know exactly where to be to close out shooting lanes or block passes. He’s not a massive physical specimen, but he uses his size well and is able to do so without taking too many penalties in the process. His offensive game really blossomed this season, but he’s still a bit more of a defense-first player and if he progresses to the next level of the game he’ll probably end up sticking to what he knows. That said, his offensive game will need to keep developing f0r him to be a successful pro.
The younger brother of 2016 New Jersey Devils third round pick Joey Anderson, Mikey has had two really effective seasons with the United States Hockey League’s Waterloo Black Hawks. He’s off to college next season, joining his older brother at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He’s not a flashy player and he probably won’t be be an exciting pick, but his strong defensive game will probably get a few teams’ scouting staffs excited about his pro potential.
NHL Draft Projection
Anderson seems a decent bet to be selected in either the third or fourth rounds of this draft.
“A physical defense first two-way defender…not a strong skater but adequate and has the lateral mobility to stay with his checks…solid balance and lower body strength…moves the puck up ice with solid passing and vision…has a booming shot and is effective at getting pucks on net…plays a very physical game, and is not afraid to get his nose dirty after the whistles…sees ice in all phases of the game, on the power play, penalty kill, and a lot of even strength time…forces the rushing forwards toward the wall and plays to his strength…best defensive work is done along the wall challenging the puck carrier…menacing and physical in one on one battles…projects to become a stay at home defenseman who takes care of his own end first but also has the potential to move the puck with solid passes…not the sexy pick but a guy who can help stabilize a defensive corps.” – Future Considerations.
Waterloo's Mikey Anderson ('99) logged 36+ minutes of ice tonight in a 2-0 over Lincoln, also added an assist on the 1st Black Hawk Goal #FC
— Jake (@J_VanBesien) October 9, 2016
- Smart positional defender
- Uses his size well
- Underrated offensive instincts
- Has good enough stamina to play a ton in each game
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Needs to improve his skating and mobility
- Needs to continue to develop his offensive game
- Could stand to add on some muscle to continue the physical game
Third pairing, shutdown defender.
Risk – 1/5, Reward – 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense 7/10, Defense 8.5/10
Anderson represented USA Hockey at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and the World Junior-A Championship. He was also named to the USHL’s Second All-Star Team this past season.
Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames and the NHL Draft extensively since 2010 as a Senior Writer for The Hockey Writers and Senior Contributing Editor of FlamesNation.ca. A member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, he lives in Calgary.