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Meet Jaret Anderson-Dolan

A closer look at the youngest member of the LA Kings and his journey to the NHL

by Deborah Lew @by_DeborahLew / LAKings.com

The newest triple-initialed NHL threat is wearing black and white this season, as Calgary-native Jaret Anderson-Dolan, JAD, is suiting up for his first season with the LA Kings. 

Drafted in the second round, 41st overall, by the Kings in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Anderson-Dolan became the 10th youngest player ever to suit up for a game with the Kings, doing so on October 7 at 19 years and 25 days old.

It wasn't until then, Anderson-Dolan admitted, that he realized his NHL dream could become a reality. Prior to that, it hadn't really sunk in that he had made it to the NHL, even upon making the opening night roster. 

On Thursday, against the Montreal Canadiens, Anderson-Dolan notched the first point of his career, an assist on Michael Amadio's goal in the first period of a 3-0 win at Bell Centre.

Tweet from @LAKings: Jaret Anderson-Dolan just dealt out his first NHL assist by setting up Michael Amadio for this goal to give the LA Kings the 2-0 lead!#GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/jS7UyH80Ht

Tweet from @LAKings: The first of many points to come 👏#GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/T1a2l9OfUY

The point is the first in what many believe will be an offensively productive career for the kid who scored 103 points in 50 games as a 14-year-old with his Bantam AAA team, the Edge School Mountaineers, and 76 points in 72 games in his second year with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League.

It all began at the age of two when JAD first stepped onto the ice. Both his moms, Fran and Nancy, played hockey, as did his older brother, Dorian, and in the Anderson-Dolan household, hockey was a way of life.  

The family even named their two Bichon Shih Tzus Hat Trick and Dangle. If not a hockey player, JAD thinks he'd be working somewhere else in the sport, perhaps as a strength and conditioning coach, an area of interest that would allow him to contribute to a team.

Growing up, Anderson-Dolan was a fan of Sidney Crosby, and, as a result, cheered for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He wasn't much of a video gamer and preferred to spend most of his free time outside playing road hockey, soccer and ping pong.

As a kid, JAD also got into regular trouble for not eating his vegetables, something that has changed drastically since.  

"I'm a big veggie guy now, I learned my lesson. It kind of sounds lame, but I like kale and spinach in smoothies and salads," shares Anderson-Dolan.

Kale and spinach smoothies are in plentiful supply in Los Angeles, where JAD is happy to be settling in nicely. Staying in a hotel through training camp and at the beginning of the season, the rookie is looking forward to moving in with Kings captain Anze Kopitar after the team's Canadian road trip - not a bad place for an up-and-comer to learn the ropes from one of the best. 

Instagram from @lakings: Opening Night fun ✨

"There is a lot of stuff to do here, and not that much stuff to do in Spokane, so I want to explore a little bit and try and have some fun here and there. I need to go to Disneyland at some point," Anderson-Dolan says of his new city. "I probably want to spend as much time at the beach as I can."

He is presently caught up on his favorite television show, "Ballers," and can easily be caught watching "The Office" reruns on Netflix - for the fourth time through.

The 19-year-old can often be found reading in his free time, and he loves non-fiction, particularly books about other athletes. He's currently reading David Chilton's "The Wealthy Barber," a book about becoming financially independent.

"Kind of important," Anderson-Dolan laughs at his timely read. 

Instagram from @lakings: Anything for the kids 😍

Music-wise, a variety of genres can be found on his playlists, from rap to dance to country. Although he has only been to a handful of concerts, he named Nickelback, whose music was popular amongst his teammates, as one of his favorites, and is looking forward to catching some concerts at STAPLES Center. 

The Kings are hoping that fans will soon be coming to STAPLES Center to see Anderson-Dolan, and for JAD, that's certainly the goal. 

"[The plan in LA is] building a name for myself and proving that I deserve to be here and that I belong here," says Anderson-Dolan, who adopts a 'work hard in everything you do' mentality. 

Although he is admittedly afraid of heights, not much else seems to phase the student of life and the game of hockey, as Anderson-Dolan has already learned much from his chosen sport, even at his young age. 

"It's showed me a lot of qualities like leadership, how to be a leader, character, commitment, just things that if you're playing on a team you have to have and if you're going to be successful you definitely have to have it," articulates Anderson-Dolan.

"With other sports it's kind of individualized, like golf, tennis, it's kind of personal, so here you have to learn how to be a good person and a good teammate and care about the players around you and the coaches because if you're not close and tight-knit you're not going to have a lot of success as a team," said Anderson-Dolan. 

JAD admits that Muhammad Ali is someone from history he would choose to have dinner with if he could, as it could be a great learning opportunity. 

"What he accomplished in his career, not just in the ring, but as a person, what he represented I think that's really cool," Anderson-Dolan explains. "Obviously his personality is super outgoing, so I think it would be cool to sit down with him and learn a little bit from him."

As far as his current role models go, he is quick to name both his moms as inspirations.

"They worked very hard for my brother and I to have success in life as young kids and they still do, so I'm very grateful for that," proclaims Anderson-Dolan. 

Tweet from @FoxSportsWest: 19-year-old Jaret Anderson-Dolan is making his NHL debut tonightA moment to never forget for him and his fam 🙌#FOXSportsWest | FOX Sports App | #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/POQ5KxcoZx

Part of the hard work that JAD refers to is making his mom drive back home to get his hockey skates when he forgot to bring them with him to a game. Despite not missing any game time due to Mom's quickness, Anderson-Dolan still declares that event his most-embarrassing moment. 

Fran and Nancy can rest assured that as long as their son can keep up his hard work amongst the best in the world, the skates are no longer their responsibility. 

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