Born: February 7, 1968
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Height: 6'1" Weight: 200 lbs.
Drafted by Buffalo, 1st Round, 5th Overall, 1986
NHL Entry Draft
Seasons with Buffalo: 1986-87 to 1989-90
Uniform Number: 37
|In retrospect, it may have been a bad decision. Anderson would go on to total 11 goals and 51 assists in his NHL career, while Leetch, who was selected ninth overall by the New York Rangers, would total over 200 career goals and over 650 assists, while winning the Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year), two Norris Trophies (Outstanding Defenseman) and the 1994 Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff M.V.P.) for the Rangers.
In the 1986 pre-season, Anderson was the team's second leading scorer, scoring 2 goals and 8 assists. That was enough to earn him a spot in the Sabres opening night roster. He remained with the team until mid-November, when he was sent down to the team's minor league affiliate, the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. Anderson's first stint in the minors was short, and he was recalled to Buffalo before the month was over. Upon returning to Buffalo, Anderson scored his first NHL goal on December 28, 1986 against the Calgary Flames. By the end of the 1986-87 season, he had played in 41 games with the Sabres, scoring 2 goals and 11 assists. In 15 games in Rochester, Anderson scored 2 goals and 5 assists.
|Shawn Anderson will always be remembered by Sabres fans as one of a long list of draft mistakes made during the reign of Scotty Bowman as General Manager. Drafted fifth overall in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft Sabres fans expected big things from Anderson, who was, unfortunately, never able to deliver. Like Ric Seiling, who had the mis-fortune of being drafted one position above Hall of Famer Mike Bossy, Anderson's career would be forever measured against the player that Bowman passed up to select him.
Anderson's road to the NHL began at the University of Maine, where he played 16 games as a Freshman during the 1985-86 season. He scored 5 goals and 8 assists in those 16 games, and looked to be a solid offensive defenseman. Anderson left Maine mid-season to join the Canadian National Team. As a member of Team Canada, Anderson saw action in 33 games during the 1985-86 season, scoring twice and registering 6 assists.
Going into the 1986 NHL Entry Draft, Anderson was ranked as the best offensive defenseman in the draft. Having come off a lackluster 1985-86 season, the Sabres had a
|chance to improve the team with a high first round selection. Defense was a key need position for the Sabres going into the draft, and there were several solid candidates available. Bowman was so impressed with Anderson that he passed over another top prospect, Avon High School star defenseman Brian Leetch, to pick him.|
|Anderson started the 1987-88 season in Buffalo, but was hampered by an ankle injury which nagged him throughout the early part of the season. Anderson missed 21 games due to the injury, and had just 1 goal and 2 assists to his credit when he was sent down to Rochester on January 30, 1988. Anderson finished the season in Rochester, where he played in 22 games, scoring 5 goals and 16 assists.
Anderson played the first half of the 1988-89 season in Rochester before being recalled to Buffalo for the remainder of the season. In what was hoped would be his breakout year, Anderson failed to impress the Buffalo fans, scoring just 2 goals and 10 assists. Meanwhile, Brian Leetch, who the Sabres had passed over to draft Anderson, scored 23 goals in just 68 games for the Rangers en route to the 1989 Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year, a fact which Sabres fans found hard to ignore.
Anderson remained in Buffalo for the start of the 1989-90 season, and played there through early December before being returned to Rochester. He spent most of the remainder of the season there, with a few brief call-ups to the Sabres. He finished the season having played 16 games in Buffalo, with 1 goal and 3 assists. In Rochester, Anderson played in 39 games, scoring twice and adding 16 assists.
On September 30, 1990 Anderson's career in Buffalo ended abruptly when he was
|traded to the Washington Capitals for defenseman Bill Houlder. Before the start of the season, Anderson was traded again, this time to the Quebec Nordiques. Anderson would spend most of the 1990-91 season with the Nordiques, scoring a career-high 3 goals and adding 10 assists in just 31 games played.
At the start of the 1991-92 season, Anderson was traded twice within a span of two days, from Quebec to the Winnipeg Jets, then from Winnipeg to the Washington Capitals. Anderson would spend two seasons with the Capitals, playing a career-high 60 games during the 1992-93 season.
In 1994, Anderson signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Flyers. He spent most of the season with their AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears. He saw action in one game for the Flyers during the strike-shortened 1995 season. It would be his last game in the NHL.
Anderson signed as a free agent in 1995 with the Milwaukee Admirals of the International Hockey League. The following season, Anderson split time between the Utah Grizzlies and Manitoba Moose of the IHL and the Wedemark Scorpions of the German Elite League. Since 1997, Anderson has spent the majority of his time playing in Germany, returning to the United States in 1999-2000 for a brief stint with the Michigan K-Wings of the IHL.
Shawn Anderson is on the roster of the Nuremburg Ice Tigers of the German Elite League for the 2001-02 season. Brian Leetch, incidentally, continues his journey to the Hockey Hall of Fame, currently in his 15th season as a member of the New York Rangers.