By Brandon Astle
The morning of October 31st was just ordinary day in the life of Evan Anderson. That was until school finished and he arrived at the rink for practice. Right away the North Vancouver native was called into the coaches office and received a piece of news that would change his life. He was traded to the Langley Rivermen along with teammate Turner Popoff in exchange for Bo Pellah. It took the 17 year-old by surprise to say the least, but things are starting to get back to normal.
“The adjustment has been really smooth so far and coming into Langley with a guy like Turner Popoff makes the process a bit easier,” said Anderson, “it is kind of funny though because the only guy I knew on the Rivermen was Bo Pellah and sure enough I get traded for him.”
Not only did Anderson have to switch billet homes from Alberni Valley to Langley, but he is still in his grade 12 year and switched schools as well. “Ross Beebe (Educational Advisor) helped me get settled into Langley Secondary. We had a meeting with the school on the very first day and got everything organized and ever since it has been really smooth and I am really enjoying it.”
Juggling school work and playing a high level of hockey is not an easy thing to do and it is something Anderson is still learning to deal with every day. “It is pretty tough and you have to stay organized and I will admit I am not the most organized person in the world,” Anderson chuckled, “it is all about time management and sometimes getting homework done on tight deadlines is tough, but you just got to plow through it.”
Anderson is beginning to get more comfortable not only off the ice, but especially on the ice as he has recorded two goals in his last two games. “The coaches are having more faith in me and that allows me to be a little more comfortable out there. Since I have come here the guys have been nothing but great to me and have made me feel right at home and that also helps.”
The 5’10”, 170 pound forward is enjoying a fantastic rookie season with 6 goals and 10 assists in 21 games. His last goal on Saturday night against Coquitlam was his first tally in front of the home crowd and it was a goal of the year candidate to say the least. “I would have to say that one in particular has been the nicest out of the six I have scored this year,” Anderson said grinning ear to ear, “Butcher moved the puck up to me to make it a 2 on 1 and I was planning on moving it back over to him, but the d-man dove at me, so I just toe-dragged it around him and put a shot towards the net and was happy to see it go in.”
Switching divisions from the Island to the Mainland has been very different for Anderson and he has noticed a difference in the style of play. “The Island division is a tough one don’t get me wrong, but when you play in the Mainland everything is very tight right now and you cannot have a night off. All the teams in the division are within striking distance of one another and you have to make sure every night counts,” Anderson finished.