Early on Day Two of the 2017 National Hockey League Draft, the Los Angeles Kings selected Waterloo Black Hawks veteran defenseman Mikey Anderson in the fourth round with the 103rd overall pick.
Anderson joins Shane Bowers and Dylan Samberg in Waterloo’s 2017 NHL Draft class; Bowers was chosen with the 28th pick of the first round by the Ottawa Senators on Friday. Samberg was claimed by the Winnipeg Jets in the second round.
“In my mind, Mikey was the top defenseman in the USHL this season,” said Waterloo Black Hawks Head Coach P.K. O’Handley. “He does so many things which are not measured statistically, because he has special instincts, which always seem to put him in the right position to make a play. When Mikey was on the ice, the other five guys who were with him were better, from the crease out.”
In 2016/17, Anderson tied for second in the United States Hockey League with a +29 plus/minus differential. Over 54 appearances, the 18-year-old generated 34 points, including 29 assists; both marks ranked fifth among USHL defensemen. Beyond the 111 regular season games in which he took the ice over two seasons, Anderson also skated in 17 Clark Cup playoff games for the Hawks in 2016 and 2017. His offensive touch was best on display in those contests; Anderson scored five playoff goals.
Throughout the winter, Anderson had opportunities to show off his abilities outside Waterloo’s lineup. While representing the United States during the 2016 World Junior A Challenge in Canada, he and his teammates claimed a gold medal. Anderson also skated during both the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game and the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Last August during the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, he was part of a U.S. team which won the silver medal.
Last June, Anderson’s older brother, Joey, was chosen during the third round of the 2016 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils. Both of the Anderson brothers will skate together next season for the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs.
The Kings have now selected four players with ties to Waterloo. The group also includes David Meckler (2005), Josh Turnbull (2007), and Nick Ebert (2012). Former Black Hawks star Jason Blake reached the NHL with the Los Angeles in 1998/99 after signing as a free agent.
Anderson, Bowers, and Samberg are among 21 players with ties to Waterloo who have been drafted by NHL teams since 2013.