Anaheim Ducks 2020 Draft Profile: Jake Sanderson Could be of Immeasurable Value

Jake Sanderson #48 of the U.S. Nationals (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Jake Sanderson #48 of the U.S. Nationals (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /

Jake Sanderson is a reliable draft selection that could serve the Anaheim Ducks well should he be selected 6th overall.

What comes to mind when you think of Mark Giordano? Ryan McDonagh? Here’s my educated guess as to what their General Managers think: immeasurable value. At first look, it appears that USNTDP defenseman, Jake Sanderson, is soon to be spoken of in the same breath as these foundational pieces. He might be a piece Bob Murray is considering adding to the Anaheim Ducks arsenal.

Jake Sanderson Profile

"Born: July 8, 2002Nation: USADraft Year Team: USNTDPPosition: DShoots: LHeight: 6’1” / 186 cmWeight: 185 lbs / 84 kg"

Jake Sanderson Fits the Bill for Bob Murray

I originally predicted the Anaheim Ducks would select Jamie Drysdale with their 6th overall selection. After closer consideration, Sanderson seems more like the typical Ducks’ defensive selection (think Hampus Lindholm or Jacob Larsson). The Ducks show a tendency to draft reliable two-way defenders, and Sanderson fits the bill.

Sanderson plays a game well beyond his years; one that is slowly disappearing in today’s day and age. He displays exceptional defensive ability in every sense of the word. On the rush, he is all but a guarantee to have his stick on the puck, and his eyes on the opponent’s body.

In his own zone, he shows an intense drive to win battles, imposing his will by forcefully throwing his body around whenever given the chance. After creating a turnover, his sixth-sense for putting the puck in the right area takes over.

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His offensive ability shows top-pairing potential as well. And it’s undeniable that he knows where the puck should go in the offensive zone. What he lacks, however, is his ability to finish or display the stick-handling prowess that has come to be become expected of lottery-selection defenseman.

Despite the slight offensive bottleneck, these aforementioned attributes are things that GMBM seems to laud more than any other GM’s that come to mind. Consider where Giordano and McDonagh have taken their respective teams. Sanderson emulates these veterans in his play by doing everything that is asked of a defenseman.

A certain style of play that has become more popular in recent years is having a defenseman that plays almost as a fourth forward. This model of play can get teams into trouble when the defenseman gets caught in the offensive zone. Where players like Sanderson, Giordano, and McDonagh provide so much value to a team (in addition to cultivating trust with teammates and coaches) is their dependence. They do all the little things right, they’re always in the right place at the right time, contrary to the offensive-minded defenseman who is more unpredictable positionally.

Never one to produce eye-popping statistics, Sanderson is sure to contribute in a variety of other ways to whichever team picks him. Trust is something that is hard to build, and Sanderson seems like he would be hard not to trust. The Ducks would unquestionably benefit from bringing him into the fold. If they choose to go the route of a defenseman, the only question is if they are willing to go the slightly riskier route, proving my original prediction to be true.

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