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Fantasy Summary

A cerebral, steady presence on the blueline. Owns strong skating and outlets. Knows when to engage. A potential minute-muncher at the next level.


Observations

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April 2022 – After two seasons at the University of North Dakota, the Senators 2020 fifth overall pick has elected to turn pro and signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Senators on March 27th. In 45 career games at UND, he had 10 goals and 31 assists, but it is doubtful that he will see any games this season as he had surgery on his right wrist in mid-March. Given that Sanderson is still only 19-years-old, the signing burns a year of his ELC regardless if he plays or not this season. Grant Campbell

August 2021- Any concerns regarding the Sanderson selection by the Ottawa Senators, 5th overall in the 2020 draft, have surely been put to bed. The star defensemen at UND took a serious step forward with his game in his D+1 season, tossing up 15 points in 22 games while logging a bucket load of minutes on the top pairing. His point totals do not even come close to measuring the progress that he made as a player though, primarily with his transition and offensive game. Sanderson was always strong moving the puck up the ice, but he has added an explosive stride that allows him to reach his top speed quicker and more efficiently than in the past. He is also much more willing to get involved in the rush offensively, as he likes driving the play forward and finding his teammates in dangerous areas. Once established in the offensive zone, Sanderson’s ability to distribute the puck to teammates in a variety of scenarios has significantly improved as well. He has always projected as a reliable two-way defenseman, but with the progress he has made I would not be surprised if he turned into a star, number one defensemen on the Sens for years to come. Jacob Barker

 

January 2021 – World Junior gold medalist Jake Sanderson. Has a nice ring to it. The Senators’ fifth overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft looked quite good for most of the World Junior tournament. He helped anchor the U.S. backend en route to the gold medal. He was an all situations player for the Americans and showed his defensive acumen at various points in the tournament.  He returns to North Dakota with some added hardware and added confidence. Sanderson’s offensive game has been growing over the last year-and-a-half which shouldn’t come to a halt any time soon as he continues to get comfortable at the NCAA level. With Chabot blocking the top powerplay, Sanderson will likely have to work his way onto the second powerplay unit. His all situations versatility will be key as he could be a mutli-cat stud once he gets his footing at the NHL level once he gets there. There is no reason to think that his good first half and World Junior experience should not lead to a great second half of the year for the young defender. Tony Ferrari

 

December 2020 – Jake Sanderson is attending the American World Juniors camp in Plymouth, Michigan where he played his last two season’s with the National Team Development Program. He will be looking to assert himself among the best defenders in camp. His strong play at both ends of the ice will allow him to be a minute-eater for the U.S. as he has shown the ability to play a prominent role at the NCAA level already. His development over the last 18-months has been impressive, to say the least. His impressive play with the University of North Dakota thus far in his post-draft season has done nothing to slow the growing hype around Sanderson. If Sanderson continues to develop at this rate over the next 18-months, he will likely be playing with the Senators and not in an insignificant role. Tony Ferrari 

 

October 2020 – Sanderson was drafted fifth overall by the Senators. This selection could be seen as a bit of a reach but Sanderson’s second half of the season was among the best in this draft class which pushed him to the top ten on most pre-draft rankings. Sanderson could push for an NHL job in 2021-2022.  Jokke Nevalainen

 

June 2020 – Sanderson watched his stock rise dramatically throughout the season. His play in the defensive end has always been sturdy. He knows when to lean on an opponent and when to draw back and use a good stick. But what really began to rear up was his transitional play. As the confidence built, so did the shifty turnbacks and acceleration to shake pressure. The deep outlets. The well-timed pinches and rushes. While Sanderson still does not project as an elite producing rearguard, his blend of two-way ability and rocketing developmental curve will have many teams lining up on draft day. He owns some multicategory upside as well. Cam Robinson

 

January 2020 – Jake Sanderson is the top defenseman on the USNTDP-U18 team this year. While he is still fairly raw, he flashes everything you want to see in a modern-day blueliner. He skates well and doesn’t exhaust a lot of energy doing so. He is smooth in his transitions and his edge-work is above average. His gap control is inconsistent but it has improved over the course of the season. He is engaging at the blueline far more often and with his high skill level, it often leads to quick breakout passes that catch the opposition off guard. When the play gets hemmed into his zone, his defensive position breaks down at times and he can sometimes be found puck chasing. His effort is there, he just needs some refinement in that area. When he regains possession in his zone, he is able to break the puck out with a solid first pass. He moves the puck crisply and efficiently, finding the open forward as the team moves up the ice. He does an excellent job of picking his spots and joining the rush. His mobility allows him to get back on defense when he joins the attack but can be burned from time to time. He has a good one-time shot from the blueline, particularly on the power play where he is able to creep in and find open space. His distribution in the offensive zone is solid, as he doesn’t shy away from skating down the wall with the puck in order to draw defenders before finding a teammate in open space. He is a solid bet to be a complementary defenseman, but his tools could take him further should he be able to pull it all together. Tony Ferrari

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 7.5
NHL Certainty 9.0
Country USA
Position D
Roster Type System
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth July 8, 2002
Height 6‘1”
Weight 185 lbs
Drafted 2020 Round 1; Overall: 5

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2015-2016 NWCAA Stamps U15 AAHCAA U1522 2 810 10|        
  Calgary Flames U15 AAAAEHL U152 1 01 0|        
 2016-2017 Calgary Flames U15 AAAAEHL U1529 5 1318 26|Playoffs5 3 25
  Team South Alberta Cup2 1 01 0|        
 2017-2018 Edge School U16 PrepCSSHL U1632 16 2743 26|Playoffs3 1 23
  Team Alberta WHL Cup5 1 23 0|