Josh Anderson is headed for major junior hockey’s biggest stage.
The Duncan defenceman will play for the Memorial Cup after helping the Swift Current Broncos win the Western Hockey League championship on Sunday.
The Broncos closed out the best-of-seven championship series with a 3-0 win, knocking off the Everett Silvertips four games to two.
After dropping the series opener 2-1 on May 4, the Broncos came back to win the next two games in overtime. They won 1-0 last Wednesday to take a stranglehold on the series. The Silvertips pushed back to win 6-3 last Friday, but the Broncos locked up the title on Sunday.
On their way to the championship series, Swift Current beat the Regina Pats four games to three, the Moose Jaw Warriors four games to three, and the Lethbridge Hurricanes four games to two. Anderson has played all 26 playoff games for the Broncos in the playoffs, recording two assists, a minus-5, 15 penalty minutes, and 42 shots on goal.
The 19-year-old defenceman was born in Nanaimo, and grew up in Lake Cowichan and Duncan, playing in the Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey Association. After he was drafted third overall by the Prince George Cougars in 2013 — one spot ahead of current Philadelphia Flyers forward Nolan Patrick — Anderson spent one year in the B.C. Major Midget League, then jumped to the WHL. He played with the Cougars from 2014 until the 2018 trade deadline, when he was shipped to Swift Current.
Anderson was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche 71st overall in the third round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, and signed an entry-level contract with the Avs in March.
Also skating on the Swift Current blueline is Victoria product Jacson Alexander, who played at Shawnigan Lake School from 2015-2017, earning a scholarship to the University of Denver. He started the 2017-18 with the B.C. Hockey League’s Victoria Grizzlies, then switched to the WHL partway through the season. Alexander has also appeared in all 26 playoff games with the Broncos, posting one assist, a minus-two, two penalty minutes and nine shots on goal.
The Memorial Cup tournament starts Friday in Regina, where the Broncos will be joined by the Ontario League champion Hamilton Bulldogs, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Acadie-Bathurst Titan, and the host Regina Pats.
Swift Current won both the WHL title and Memorial Cup in 1989, and also appeared in the 1993 Memorial Cup tournament as WHL champions.