Vancouver Canucks 2017 NHL Draft Profile: D Grant Anderson

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

If they want to find a skilled offensive defenseman in the late rounds of the draft, the Vancouver Canucks will have to dig deep.

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning knows his targets. In the 2017 NHL Draft, he wants to pick a playmaking center as well as a defenseman who can provide offense from the backend and quarterback a power play.

There are certainly some interesting options available to fill both of those needs with the fifth-overall selection. But once we move on to Vancouver’s second pick, which will be 33rd overall, things start to get difficult.

Luckily, it’s possible to find any kind of player late in the draft — all you need is a keen eye and a huge portion of luck.

Maybe Grant Anderson of Wayzata High can bring the Canucks what they are desiring.

Name: Grant Anderson

Position: Defense

Shoots: Right

Birthdate: 1999-09-15

Height, weight: 6’2”, 185 lbs

Team, league: Wayzata High, USHS

Stats (from 







#194 by Future Considerations

Risk, Reward: 2/5, 3/5

NHL-potential: Top-six defenseman

Draft Range: Seventh round


Grant Anderson might not be high on many lists, due to a variety of factors. However, he might be exactly what the Canucks are looking for — if he can round out his tools and improve over the next few years. That’s a major ‘if,’ but that’s what you get in the late rounds of the draft. Anderson possesses a strong two-way toolkit that just needs to be shaped into an effective all-around package.

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Defensively, Anderson stands out as a player who constantly tries to apply pressure to his opponents, leaving them little time and space to make plays. He pressures them early and plays a tight gap in order to force early turnovers before they can control the puck and start an attack. In the defensive zone, Anderson likes to use his body to battle and to throw the occasional big hit as well.

What makes him more intriguing than just his offensive play, however, is that he has some two-way upside as well. Anderson is a confident puck-carrier who can move the puck out of the defensive zone and lead a rush. In addition, he sees his teammates well and can deliver accurate passes. Eight of Anderson’s 17 assists came on the power play, so he knows how to set up chances on the man advantage.

Perhaps his biggest offensive standout attributes is his shot. Anderson possesses a heavy slap and wrist shot, and likes to use them frequently. His slapper needs some improved accuracy, but the foundation is certainly there.


So far, Anderson has not developed any major strengths, which is, in turn, his biggest weakness. Anderson has plenty of good tools and does many things well, but he doesn’t have any elite skills. He scored at a point-per-game pace at the high-school level, promising some offensive upside, but at that level of play, it is tough to predict how high that upside really is.

Furthermore, Anderson still needs a lot of work, in virtually every area of the game.

His shot needs to be more accurate. His skating stride must be improved. His defensive positioning and awareness need an upgrade.

Anderson is simply a player who displays some promising tools at a low level of play. That should be enough to get drafted in the later rounds — but is it enough to play in the NHL?

Final Thoughts

What fans care most about are obviously the first two rounds. Some still care about the third, but by the time the fourth round comes around, only true draft geeks still know the names that are called by NHL GMs.

But if we look at it from an NHL club’s point of view, the later rounds might actually be more important than the earlier ones. Sure, you might get an elite player in the top five; the chances are certainly better than later on. But one star player doesn’t make a whole team great (unless that player’s name is Connor McJesus).

Must Read: Canucks pick Pettersson in full first-round mock!

Instead, organisational depth is important. And that can only be achieved through strong drafting. If the Canucks want to have a speedy and successful rebuild, they won’t get around drafting some talented players in the late rounds.

One of those players could definitely be Grant Anderson. A right-shooting defenseman with two-way upside who produces a lot of points on the power play is exactly the type of player the Canucks are looking for.

Next: All 2017 NHL Draft Profiles

They might have someone like Cale Makar in mind when they ask for a power-play quarterback. But depending on the outcome of the earlier rounds, Anderson might be their last chance at that right-handed blueliner the Canucks are coveting.