Saturday, June 24, 2017

Los Angeles draft pick has opportunity to make difference ... Anderson-Dolan ready to be leader in LGBTQ community

One of the 217 selections made in the two-day NHL draft that wrapped up Saturday in Chicago has a chance to have a bigger impact than all the rest combined. The Los Angeles Kings used a second-round
(Photo: @LAKings)
pick, 41st overall, to take F Jaret Anderson-Dolan of the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs.
Anderson-Dolan, or JAD as he’s come to be known in this Twitter-ruled world, is from Calgary, where his home life was put together by two mothers — Fran and Nancy.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Anderson-Dolan is a terrific WHL player. The puck follows him around and he makes things happen. He followed a 14-goal, 26-point freshman season by putting up 39 goals and 37 assists in 72 games last season.
He has an impeccable work ethic and is mature beyond his 18 years.
He has said repeatedly that he is quite prepared to get involved with the LGBTQ movement. Last season, for a Feb. 26 game against the visiting Kelowna Rockets, he used Pride Tape on a stick for a game. It was all part of a program known as Hockey is for Everyone. His teammates quickly followed suit for the warmup and some, including JAD, kept the tape on for the game.
He was featured in a number of stories from the draft. Here’s what he told Jon Rosen of about living in a two-mother household:
(PHOTO: @spokanechiefs)
“For me, growing up it was really normal. Obviously, I don’t know any other way of growing up. 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. I think it’s come a long way in the past couple years, so it’s really cool to be in this situation and have a voice in the community that way.”
He provided Rosen with some insight into his youth, with this:
“Growing up, Nancy, she has her own business with food addiction treatment, so I was raised in a house where we eat well and eat organic food and things like that, so for me, it’s just kind of a habit, just talking about things you can do to get an advantage of your opponent. If I’m disciplined with that, then maybe it’ll give me a little bit of an advantage. I was raised in a house where we eat right, so it’s pretty easy for me.”
He also is a leader, witness his wearing an ‘A’ with the Chiefs and being named captain of Canada’s team at the U-18 worlds.
“It meant a lot,” he told Rosen. “Just to represent Canada is a huge honor. Being named captain was a huge honor, and it was something that was really exciting. I think you learn from your parents. Fran was a leader on almost every hockey team she played for, so I think just being raised right, a lot of credit to my parents. For me, I just try to lead by example.”

With Anderson-Dolan opening up a world of new marketing opportunities for hockey, it will be interesting to see how the WHL handles this situation.
In May, Josh Horton, then with the Spokane Spokesman-Review, wrote a feature on Anderson-Dolan that included this:
“When Anderson-Dolan was going through the WHL bantam draft process, some teams told him and his family they would not take him because of his two mothers.
“Anderson-Dolan, with the talent to be picked in the top five of the draft, slipped all the way to No. 14 to Spokane.”
Anderson-Dolan told Horton:
“I can’t change people’s opinions. If that’s how they feel about it, I’d honestly rather not be in that organization if they’re going to be like that. I’d rather be in an organization with the Chiefs where they support it completely.
“Maybe that ended up with me falling in the draft a little bit, but I don’t really care, honestly.”
What do the Kings think?
Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times tweeted this quote, from Mark Yannetti, the Kings’ director of amateur scouting: “If anyone has a problem, they should screw themselves and find another job. . . . He has two loving, wonderful parents.”
(It may be only a coincidence that in the week leading up to the draft, Los Angeles added former Chiefs head coach Don Nachbaur to its coaching staff as an assistant.)
Interestingly, while all sorts of radio, TV, newspaper and Internet-based reporters were writing about Anderson-Dolan’s home life, a pre-draft feature that was posted on the WHL’s website ( on June 19 doesn’t mention it, his mothers or the role his prepared to play away from the arena.
No matter, though, because as JAD told Horton:
“I’m proud of my moms. I’m proud of my uncles, my aunties, everyone I know that is openly gay. I have no shame about it, and neither do they.”
Meanwhile, in Saskatoon, the Blades, including president Steve Hogle, spent Saturday showing support for that city’s LGBTQ community.

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