The Kings had a top-five prospect fall into their laps yesterday with Gabe Vilardi and today, they had another stroke of luck. Jaret Anderson-Dolan, a center playing with the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL, had been projected by some to go in the late first round, but didn’t hear his name called yesterday. Choosing Anderson-Dolan is perhaps a sign the Kings are willing to start getting away from the “can’t teach size” mentality; Anderson-Dolan is 5’11” but put up big numbers last year in Spokane, coming in second in points on his team (behind Edmonton’s first round pick Kailer Yamamoto). He’s one of the youngest players in this year’s draft -- his birthday is only a few days from missing the age cutoff entirely -- so may take a little longer to really blossom, but scouting reports indicate that he’s been rapidly maturing as a player already in his WHL career.
Anderson-Dolan’s been getting press lately, not just for his play, but also for his family. Anderson-Dolan was raised by his mothers, Fran and Nancy, in Calgary. He’s outspoken about the importance -- and normalcy -- of his family. The profile about Anderson-Dolan and his family from the Spokseman Review is a fantastic read.
- Two-way forward who plays in all situations
- Strong skater, plays bigger than he is
- Defensively aware
- Projected to be a middle-six player
NHL Central Scouting (North American skaters): 21st
ISS Hockey: 31st
Future Considerations: 37th
Sports Illustrated: 32nd
TSN (Bob McKenzie): 36th
WHAT EVERYONE’S SAYING
After a solid rookie season in 2015-16, during which the Calgary native scored 14 goals and 26 points, Anderson-Dolan made a huge jump in production and became just the fourth Chief in franchise history to score 30+ goals as a 17-year-old. He finished 31st on the WHL’s scoring list while recording 18 multi-point games, seven multi-goal games and three hat tricks. “JAD” also lined up a six-game goal streak from Jan. 27-Feb. 10.
Every season during fitness testing in preseason camp at Whitworth University, Chiefs players undergo VO2 testing, which measures the capacity of a person’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to the muscles.
Typically, only the veterans participate in this portion, but Anderson-Dolan was invited to participate as a 16-year-old rookie. He hopped on the exercise bike for the test, breathing tube strapped to his face, as then-Chiefs head coach Don Nachbaur walked in and announced, “I’m gonna bet A-D wins this.”
And he did. By a lot.
Anderson-Dolan’s test number was in the mid 60s. Not a single Chiefs player even eclipsed 60 that year.
“I can’t change people’s opinions. If that’s how they feel about it, I’d honestly rather not be in that organization if they’re going to be like that,” Jaret said. “I’d rather be in an organization with the Chiefs where they support it completely.
“Maybe that ended up with me falling in the draft a little bit, but I don’t really care, honestly.”
Those situations were never difficult to deal with because it’s a facet of his life he’s always embraced.
“I’m proud of my moms. I’m proud of my uncles, my aunties, everyone I know that is openly gay,” Jaret said. “I have no shame about it, and neither do they.”