Josh Anderson moved one step closer to the National Hockey League on Thursday.
The Cowichan Valley-raised defenceman signed an entry-level contract with the Colorado Avalanche, nearly two years after the team selected him 71st overall in the third round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
The signing was announced by the Avalanche on their official website.
The 19-year-old has spent the last four seasons in the Western Hockey League, putting up 35 points in 206 games. He was picked third overall by the Prince George Cougars in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, and played with the Cougars until the trade deadline this year, when he was dealt to the Swift Current Broncos.
Anderson had seven points (one goal and six assists) in 25 games with Prince George, and posted another seven (two goals and five assists) in 29 games with Swift Current. Anderson is currently playing for Swift Current in the WHL playoffs, where he has one point through the first four games of the Broncos’ opening-round series against the Regina Pats.
Anderson was born in Nanaimo, but moved to Lake Cowichan at the age of three, then to Duncan before his first season of atom hockey. He played in the Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey Association through the bantam ranks, playing in provincial championships in peewee and bantam, then spent one year with the Victoria-based major midget South Island Royals before making the step to the WHL.