Josh Anderson posted this photo on Instagram of him lifting the Ed Chynoweth Cup after the Swift Current Broncos beat the Everett Silvertips in the WHL championship series. (Screenshot)

‘A surreal moment’ as Anderson prepares for Memorial Cup

Swift Current Broncos to play for national junior championship

It’s been hard for Josh Anderson to get used to the fact that he’s a Western Hockey League champion and on his way to the Memorial Cup tournament.

“It’s an unreal moment,” said the Duncan-raised Swift Current Broncos defenceman after a team practice on Wednesday morning. “It’s the dream of every kid growing up.”

The Broncos hoisted the WHL championship trophy on Sunday, and will start the Memorial Cup tournament on Saturday.

Anderson was one of several players the Broncos added at the junior hockey trade deadline in January as they beefed up for a run at the title. He said he knew immediately that his new team would be a contender based on the way the newcomers were received.

“A huge part of team success is having good chemistry off the ice,” he said. “I knew right away we had a chance. Everybody who got brought in, the guys who were already here welcomed us with open arms. The fans and the city have been great.”

Anderson started his junior career with the Prince George Cougars, and spent nearly four years there before joining the Broncos in January. Making the move to Saskatchewan to get a shot at a championship was a no-brainer for the 19-year-old in his last year of junior hockey.

“I didn’t have a problem going farther away from home,” he said. “I was willing to do whatever I could. It was a sacrifice for me, something I’m willing to do.”

Before the playoffs started in March, Anderson inked his first NHL contract with the Colorado Avalanche, who picked him in the third round of the 2016 Entry Draft. While the prospect of signing wasn’t a major distraction, it was still nice to get it out of the way.

“Obviously every drafted kid and every other kid thinks about a contract all the time,” he said. “I talked with multiple guys who had signed contracts, and they said you’ve got to continue to do your thing on the ice and it will take care of itself off the ice.

“It’s every kid’s dream to sign his first contract.”

The Memorial Cup tournament starts Friday with the host Regina Pats facing the Ontario Hockey League champion Hamilton Bulldogs. The Broncos will take on the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Acadie-Bathurst Titan the next day.

The Broncos aren’t familiar with the Bulldogs or Titan, but they do know the Pats very well, having knocked off the Regina club in the first round of the WHL playoffs, although it took seven games.

“They’ll be a new team going into the tournament,” Anderson said of the Pats. “They didn’t go down without a fight. They’re big and physical.”

There’s no reason for the Broncos to think they can’t emerge from the tournament as national major junior champions.

“We won the league for a reason,” Anderson said. “We’ve got to into the Memorial Cup with confidence and prepare for each game at a time.”

Just Posted

Smoky skies in the Valley expected to clear by mid week

But smoke from wildfires could return at any time

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Suspect in Spiderman suit steals camera on Vancouver Island

Suspect in red and blue “onesie” caught on surveillance footage breaking into truck in Nanaimo

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Zeballos wildfire not getting any closer to town – BC Wildfire Service

Authorities optimistic about Zeballos; choppers grounded due to heavy smoke

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

Most Read