Anderson is coming off an injury-plagued season in which he played just 26 games and scored only once. However, he scored 63 goals in 223 games over his last three seasons.
The 6’3″ power forward fits a desperate need for the Canadiens, adding size and scoring to the right side, while dealing from a position of strength.
Like Domi, Anderson is a restricted free agent. He has already received his qualifying offer from the Blue Jackets. The length and term of his next deal is anyone’s guess, but Anderson and his agent were gunning for a long-term deal from Columbus.
What to expect from Anderson
The first thing that many will notice is that Anderson is not Patrik Laine. It’s important to note though, that the Canadiens were able to add Anderson without giving up Philip Danault, Nick Suzuki, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Alexander Romanov, or the pick that ultimately turned into Kaiden Guhle.
There are few players around the NHL with the combination of speed and skill that Anderson possesses. The majority of his goals come from within six feet of the goalmouth, but his quick release is also a weapon from the top of either circle.
Here’s an example (3:46-3:58) against your Montreal Canadiens where Anderson breaks up the play himself, takes a bad pass in stride, streaks up the wing, and rips it past Carey Price:
His size and skating allow him to bully his way to the front of the net and stay there; a quality the Canadiens desperately needed to add to their power play.
There are definitely question marks surrounding his health. He has missed almost an entire season due to injury over the last three seasons. However, Columbus GM Jarmo Kekäläinen told media recently that Anderson would have been able to play in the playoffs had the Blue Jackets advanced to the second round.
How badly will Domi be missed?
As for Domi, his drastic dip in offense this season demonstrated that he is better suited to the center position. In Montreal, he would have had to either play on the wing or be stuck on the fourth line. Neither of those options sets the player (and ultimately, the team) up for success.
In Columbus, Domi is the clear-cut number two center behind Pierre-Luc Dubois. He should get ample opportunity to create offense with any combination of Gustav Nyquist, Liam Foudy, and Cam Atkinson.
Yes, it’s entirely possible that he ends up being the 72-point player in Columbus instead of the 44-point player. But, it is highly unlikely that he could achieve that in Montreal.
And if you consider that the Canadiens gave up just Alex Galchenyuk to get Domi, the trade looks even better.
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