Jaret Anderson-Dolan grew up on skates, which doesn’t make him all that different from most of Canada’s 35 million citizens. But he scored a hat trick in his first game as a 15-year-old with the junior-level Spokane (Wash.) Chiefs of the Western Hockey League, a sign he was extraordinary.
Anderson-Dolan also had more points (76) than games played (72) during this past season with the Chiefs to cement his status as one of the top North American skaters eligible for the NHL draft this weekend. He was ranked 21st by season’s end.
The Kings selected Anderson-Dolan, a 17-year-old center, in the second round of the draft Saturday (41st overall), as their quest for young players with outstanding offensive skills continued after they picked center Gabe Vilardi in the first round Friday (11th overall).
Anderson-Dolan described himself as a “hard-working two-way forward,” during an interview with NHL Network. “Love the offensive game, love to produce, but I take a lot of pride in the defensive side of the game. I think my shot and my skating probably are my strengths.”
Anderson-Dolan has a strong connection to the Kings via Don Nachbaur, who was hired as an assistant coach Thursday after spending seven seasons coaching in Spokane. Nachbaur helped ease Anderson-Dolan’s initial transition from his hometown of Calgary to Spokane and life in the WHL.
In the end, it wasn’t all that difficult.
Anderson-Dolan credited his home life, with his brother, Dorian, and their mothers, Fran and Nancy, for instilling a rare level of maturity for someone his age. Anderson-Dolan is a proud supporter of the LGBTQ communities in Calgary and Spokane and organized a Pride Night at a Chiefs game.
Teammates supported Anderson-Dolan by applying rainbow-colored tape to their hockey sticks.
“I know it’s a little bit unique, but for me, I don’t know any other way of being raised,” he said. “So, it’s really normal for me. There’s been a lot of attention on it. I think,…