Montreal Canadiens Winger Josh Anderson Heading to World Championships

Apr 24, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Josh Anderson. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 24, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Josh Anderson. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /

Montreal Canadiens winger Josh Anderson will extend his season by suiting up for his country. Anderson will play for Team Canada at the upcoming World Championships this month. After earlier hearing news that prominent forwards Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield turned down an invitation, it is exciting that a current Habs forward is heading to the event.

The gritty and fast Habs winger was acquired two years ago for Max Domi and has far exceeded his counterparts production since the deal. The year before he arrived in Montreal, Anderson scored just one goal in 26 games for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

He was battling shoulder injuries that just didn’t allow him to play his typical bruising game or allow him to unleash his quick wrist shot. After arriving in Montreal, he has shown he is capable of scoring 25 or so goals over a full season and bring an element of toughness and physicality that is required in lengthy seasons.

The Burlington, Ontario native has not represented his country since the 2014 World Juniors. He scored a single goal in that tournament and Canada went without a medal. The 28 year old had plenty of experience on the big stage with his Junior team. He won two OHL Championships with the London Knights and played in three Memorial Cup tournaments in a row from 2012-14.

This season, Anderson scored 19 goals and 32 points in 69 games for the Canadiens. He had five goals and six points in the Habs playoff run last year, including an overtime game winner in the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

It will be interesting to see what role Anderson carves out for himself at the World Championships. The roster is a young group of forwards, including teenagers like Cole Sillinger, Dawson Mercer and Kent Johnson as well as Dylan Cozens, and Nicholas Roy.

The top two centres are likely to be Matthew Barzal and Pierre-Luc Dubois and Anderson will likely catch on to a top six role with one of them. After rotating through many different centres during the Canadiens injury plagued season, it will be fun to watch Anderson with a great pivot like Dubois or Barzal if that’s how the roster shakes out.

One thing Anderson certainly has going for him is familiarity with the head coach. It was a short stint, but when Anderson first arrived in Montreal, Claude Julien was behind the bench. Anderson got off to a great start with the Habs, and Julien will likely look to him as a familiar face in the lineup.

The World Championships are held in Helsinki, Finland this season. They begin on Friday, May 13th  which is just four days away. Canada will face Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Denmark and France in the preliminary round. That’s not exactly a list of Olympic contenders.

The quarterfinals will be played on May 26th with the semifinals on the 28th and the gold medal game on May 29th.

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