At 16, he was playing with the Toronto Marlies, and two years later he was the team captain. But on the day he turned 18, he became part of the controversy that was the standard players contract for the OHA.
With the arrival of the WHA in 1972 as a new professional league, teenagers could now sign a contract at age 18, though the NHL didn't draft players until 20. Anderson, like teammate John Tonelli the previous week in March 1975, retired from the OHA rather than risk continuing his amateur career under the OHA's contract which bound a player to that amateur team. However, Anderson didn't receive an offer from the WHA immediately and returned to the Marlies and lead them to the Memorial Cup.
Drafted 11th overall by his dream team Leafs, he matured slowly. But by his third year he was a star of the new Kid Line featuring Laurie Boschman and Rocky Saganiuk, though the next year, 1980-81, he called them the Skid Line for their poor season. Later in his Leaf career he played with Bill Derlago and Rick Vaive, again the team's top line, but after four consecutive 30-goal seasons he felt it was time to move on.
A trade sent him to Quebec and another to Hartford, and he spent the last five years of his playing life in the minors, the last two as player/assistant coach for the San Diego Gulls. In 1995, he became head coach of Winston-Salem in the Southern Hockey League, and a year later he coached the Quad City Mallards of the Colonial League to a championship. After one season in Quad City, Anderson became the head coach of the Chicago Wolves in 1997-98 and went on to jlead the Wolves to the Turner Cup title and two years later the franchises first Calder Cup.