By Derek Holtom
MJHL Web Correspondent
From the outside looking in, moving from a team battling for first place overall to a team in a true rebuild mode might not sound like the ideal situation for a player. But Waywayseecappo Wolverines’ forward Drew Anderson has embraced his new role on his new team, and aims to make the most of this opportunity.
“I wasn’t too bummed (about being traded),” Anderson said. “I knew I wouldn’t win as many games, but I was put into a bigger role, which will help me develop more overall. ”
“And our new coach is great, he knows his stuff and he’s helping everyone out.”
Anderson sits second in team scoring with seven goals and 20 assists as of this writing. The majority of those points came after being dealt by the Pistons to the Wolverines back in October. Anderson also has six power-play points and one short-handed goal with the Wolverines, proving the Portage la Prairie native is making the most of his new responsibilities.
As for his new bench boss, Anderson says Taylor Harnett has injected the right mindset into the young dressing room, and it’s translated into tangible results – more wins, more offense, and less goals against.
“It’s pretty much a whole new team – there’s maybe three guys left who were there from training camp,” said Anderson. “We have a lot of new systems and new players learning those systems.”
“But I feel next year, after the camp in August, we’re going to be a completely different team, and get back into a playoff spot,” he added. “Taylor is a smart guy, and with a whole year, I really think we’re going to compete.”
Harnett said he sees Anderson as a young leader on the Wolverines, and a key piece in getting the Wolverines back on track.
“Drew has a good work ethic, and he’s a very competitive player,” said Harnett. “When we don’t win, he takes that to heart, which is what makes him such a valuable asset – he doesn’t accept losing.”
“He’s a key player (for this team) moving forward,” he added. “He understands the game, a very good defensive player with some offensive skills.”
Anderson also says he’s coming to really enjoy playing for Waywayseecappo, and getting to know the people who populate the western region of the province.
“I think this area is the best,” he said. “We’re working on getting better crowds, and we’re getting out to the schools now, which we didn’t do at the start of the year. And I feel our crowds are getting bigger and bigger every came, and they’re getting more appreciative.”
Anderson added he would like to play hockey at a higher level down the road, but for right now he remains focused on helping the rebuild of the Wolverines. One has to think if he’s successful in helping the Wolverines get back to a higher competitive level, other opportunities will undoubtedly open up for him.