Chicago — Moments after Jaret Anderson-Dolan was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings, he hugged his mothers Fran and Nancy. They cried a few tears as Anderson-Dolan made his way to the floor of the United Center for handshakes and congratulations from his new team.
It was a slight variation on a familiar picture at the NHL draft. And just another Saturday for the 17-year-old center, who was raised by two women.
“Obviously I don’t know any other way of growing up,” Anderson-Dolan said . “Even though people may say, obviously, it’s a little bit different, but for me it’s completely normal. For me, it kind of gives you a little bit of perspective just how much the world is changing, and I think it’s come a long way in the past couple of years. It’s really cool to kind of be in this situation and have a voice in the community that way.”
Anderson-Dolan went No. 41 overall to Los Angeles after a breakout performance last season with Spokane of the Western Hockey League. The Calgary, Alberta, native had 39 goals and 37 assists in 72 games with the Chiefs, becoming the fourth 17-year-old in franchise history to score 30 or more goals in a season.
Mark Yannetti, director of amateur scouting for the Kings, described Anderson-Dolan’s family situation as “a matter-of-fact thing.”
“It was nothing we ever discussed,” Yannetti said. “He has two loving, wonderful parents that raised him to be a certain way, and that’s why he’s the player he is today. His work ethic and what the coaches said about him, you can’t really say anything more.”
Anderson-Dolan thinks of himself as a hard-working, two-way forward. He also pays close attention to conditioning and nutrition.
“Growing up, Nancy, she has her own business with food addiction treatment. So I was raised in a house where we eat well and all organic food,” he said. “For me it’s kind of a habit, just talking about the things you can do to take advantage of your opponent. I was raised in a house where we eat right, so it’s pretty easy for me.”
Anderson-Dolan started playing hockey when he was 18 months old, according to Fran Anderson-Dolan, who works in recreation for the city of Calgary and coached him when he was younger.
Jaret Anderson-Dolan’s girlfriend, his older brother Dorian, three aunts, two uncles, a childhood friend and his father, and a longtime shooting coach were also on hand for his big moment in Chicago.
“Just to see that, like he had been building to it for so long and to see it finally unfold is amazing,” Nancy Anderson-Dolan said.
The Anderson-Dolans’ hometown Flames made the biggest move on Day 2 of the NHL draft, acquiring defenseman Travis Hamonic in a trade with the New York Islanders. The 26-year-old Hamonic, who made his NHL debut in 2010 and had spent his entire career with the Islanders, had three goals and 11 assists in 49 games last season.
Calgary also acquired a fourth-round pick in 2019 or 2020 from New York for first and second-round picks next year and a second-round pick in 2019 or 2020. The Flames finished fourth in the Pacific Division last season and were swept by Anaheim in the first round of the playoffs.
The second day of the draft began with Colorado taking defenseman Conor Timmins with the first pick of the second round, and Philadelphia traded three draft picks to Arizona to jump up to No. 35 for 6-foot-6 Isaac Ratcliffe. The 18-year-old forward had 28 goals and 26 assists last season for Guelph of the Ontario Hockey League, but there are some questions about his skating ability.
“That’s the big part of the game I’m going to have to work on, and I’m definitely going to have to get a lot stronger to try to make my way to the next level,” he said. “Going into next year, that’s going to be a big part of it and really show them what I can do and prove to them I made the right pick here.”
The expansion Vegas Golden Knights continued to stock their organization after taking centers Cody Glass and Nick Suzuki and Swedish defenseman Erik Brannstrom in the first round Friday night. They picked up defenseman Nicolas Hague and center Jake Leschyshyn in the second round. Leschyshyn’s father, Curtis, won the Stanley Cup in 1996 with Colorado.
“We were happy to get Hague because we thought he was a first-round pick,” Vegas general manager George McPhee said. “Every once in a while someone slides for unknown reasons.”