The Saint John Sea Dogs have taken Steven Anthony for quite a ride — and it might just be getting started.
The Halifax native is enjoying life on the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s best team after the Sea Dogs went on a phenomenal 22-game winning streak and climbed to second in the national ranking at the holiday break.
Anthony, a Vancouver Canucks draft choice, is on pace for the best numbers of his career, logging top-line minutes and getting plenty of ice time on the power play.
“We’re in first place and sitting in good position going into the second half,” said the six-foot-two, 190-pound centre.
“It’s exciting to be a part of a team like this. I’m glad I can contribute and hopefully we can finish strong.”
The Sea Dogs have won 31 of 37 games and Anthony has collected 14 goals and 19 assists for 33 points in 35 games, fifth on the team.
Although he’s struggled lately with just five assists in his past eight games, the skilled 18-year-old has enjoyed life under new head coach Gerard Gallant.
His confidence waned at times under previous head coach Jacques Beaulieu.
“It’s definitely a better fit,” said Anthony, a former 10th overall QMJHL pick.
“He’s a great coach and the whole staff treats us well. They have confidence in us to go out and play our game, and that’s been a part of our success.”
The current trade period will determine how much the Sea Dogs will be pushed by other contending teams such as the Drummondville Voltigeurs, Quebec Remparts, Victoriaville Tigres and Moncton Wildcats. But there’s no doubt Anthony is in store for a lengthy playoff run.
“We have a really good team,” Anthony said.
“We have a good mix at every position … A lot of firepower, a good goaltender and our defence is solid. We’re just a good team.”