Josh Anderson Is Quietly Pacing for a Career-Best Season, Showing His Value to the Blue Jackets

By Chris Pennington on November 17, 2018 at 10:15 am
Josh Anderson is leading the Columbus Blue Jackets in the plus/minus category with a plus-11.

Aaron Doster – USA TODAY Sports

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He rumbles, he scores, but is also doing so much more.

It wasn't a hard secret to contain: Columbus Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson is one of the most valuable players on his team, and that value doesn't just come from his big goals.

But, let's talk about his goals for a moment. Anderson is currently tied for second on the club in goals scored with eight, even after only having 19 all of last season.

He also has a pair of assists to knock him up to 10 points, good enough to tie for sixth on the team in that category.

Anderson's goals have seemed to come in all different shapes and forms. He has a game-winning goal, a shorthanded goal, an empty-net goal, and plenty of 'dagger' goals that ice the game when the Blue Jackets have a one-goal lead.

Putting the puck in the net of course has been helpful, but it's also just the general presence of Anderson being on the ice that is starting to make teams shake in their skates.

For starters, he's leading the team in the plus-minus category (and while it's not always a clear picture or reliable stat, it's worth noting)...and it's not even that close. Anderson boasts a +11 rating, and David Savard is next up at +8 after a +5 showing Thursday. Then it starts to get to the larger bunch, where most impactful players hovering around +4 or +5.

Sometimes plus-minus can be deceitful though, as we mentioned (i.e. Savard being near the top) so let's look into shot-share data to prove why Anderson's is earned well. Stay with me here.

Anderson's 5-on-5 Corsi (CF%) of 52.2% is ranked fifth on the team. When Anderson is on the ice, the Blue Jackets generally have control of the puck and are controlling the shot attempts in their favor. The more that happens, the better your chances of sustained success. He's scoring goals, and taking care of the rest of his game at the same time. He's well-rounded.

An example of him being well-rounded is his usage of his God-given, 6-foor-3, 220 lb. body to scare the daylights out of teams. He leads the team with 48 hits (next highest is 37).

It also helps him when driving to the net with the puck, like on Thursday night:

Anderson is tied for fourth on the team in total points shared (estimated number of team points contributed by a player) with 1.7, and is doing this all with an average ice time of 16:07, which is 11th-most on the team (not counting goaltenders).

Also, he's doing stuff like this, which makes everyone in Columbus happy.

Don't be surprised if you see his ice time start to climb, along with the rest of Anderson's stats as the year progresses. The big man is a force to be reckoned with, and the hockey world is starting to take notice.

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