It was less than a year ago when goaltender Brandon Anderson showed up at Kettler Capitals Iceplex as a rookie camp invitee just looking to make an impression. Raw and undrafted, Anderson just wanted to get a call back to participate in this summer’s development camp.
“But I ended up signing – it was a bonus for me and it helped me out,” Anderson said.
Anderson got a three-year entry-level deal from the Caps worth a total of $1.645 million. But that wasn’t based on his talent – but purely on potential, goaltending coach Dave Prior admitted.
“Brandon Anderson, who 30 teams – including the Washington Capitals – didn’t see fit to take even with their last pick in the previous draft, we signed as a free agent,” Prior said. “We didn’t sign him because he’s a great goalie.”
In St. Paul, Minn., for the draft, Prior noted that he and the Caps’ scouting staff hoped Anderson would become one. On Monday, Prior offered up some optimism.
“He is becoming a great goalie,” he said.
The Caps are already deep throughout the organization in goal. But that’s good news, especially considering that Anderson just turned 19 on Wednesday.
Anderson is heading back to Lethbridge of the Western Hockey League this season, where he posted a sub-.900 save percentage in each of the past two years.
Anderson, who likes to model his game after Ryan Miller and Tim Thomas (lofty expectations to live up to that), will have to turn pro in a year and could be ticketed for South Carolina at that time.
“But I’m not really thinking about that too much,” he said. “I’m just going out each day and working hard and when I get an opportunity I’ll do my best and hopefully I’ll do well.”