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

VIDEO: Finding footprints curtailed Kilmer search Sunday night, but crews out again Monday

The footprints were ‘ruled out’ after trackers sent in, and everyone was back to looking for Kilmer

Sunrise Waldorf School teacher honoured for STEM

Lisa Hitch wins award for Excellence in teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Huge Flower and Garden Show still going strong after 70 years

This year the Community Flower and Garden Show will be held on Saturday, May 26

Friends and family playing huge role in Kilmer search

Volunteers from the public join forces with SAR crews

Join the MS Walk at the Cowichan Sportsplex on May 27

Information and support are also available at this event

VIDEO: Finding footprints curtailed Kilmer search Sunday night, but crews out again Monday

The footprints were ‘ruled out’ after trackers sent in, and everyone was back to looking for Kilmer

Coming up in Cowichan: Spring fair; Christian Science lecture; market

Get ready for some family fun with the Drinkwater Elementary School PAC annual spring fair

Cowichan Coffee Time: New principal, and fundraising galore

• School District 79 introduced Nicole Miller, who has been appointed principal… Continue reading

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

Man helps pull unconscious surfer from water near Tofino

Good Samaritan says lifeguards are needed at Long Beach and along the Pacific Rim park

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Martin Mars waterbombers’ firefighting days are done

Wayne Coulson said his company still hopes to find a new home for the vintage aircraft

NHL playoffs weekly roundup

Vegas Golden Knights have done the impossible and have a chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup

Changes needed for ‘Alert Ready’ mass emergency system

‘You need to strike this careful balance between alerting people to lots of problems — and doing it too often’

Most Read