In a draft year that saw an abundance of future stars like Jaromir Jagr, Martin Brodeur, Owen Nolan, Keith Tkachuk, and Peter Bondra, Geoff Sanderson found himself in a select group as the Hartford Whalers second choice, 36th overall, in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.
After spending his junior career with the WHL's Swift Current Broncos, where he led the team in several offensive categories, he was off to Hartford to pursue his dream of playing in the NHL. In only his second full season with the team, Sanderson flourished with 89 points in 82 games and played for Team Canada in the World Championships. The next year saw him have another great season for the Whalers, capped off with a World Championship victory for Canada.
Sanderson kept up his steady play with the Whalers, while capturing another World Championship crown in 1997. The Whalers moved to Carolina for the 1997-98 season where they became the Hurricanes, a fitting name for the season that Sanderson and his family would have. After settling in with the new team, he was traded to the Canucks for a brief nine -game stint and then on to the Sabres who were gearing up for the playoffs. After a great run in the 1998-99 season, the Sabres came close to winning the Stanley Cup, only to fall to the Dallas Stars in the sixth game of the finals.
As the NHL expanded, Sanderson found himself with a new team, the inaugural Columbus Blue Jackets, for the 2000-01 season. He hit his stride once again and led the team in goals, points, and power-play goals and is one of the leaders on the young team. After an injury plagued season in 2001-02, Sanderson responded the following year with 34 goals and 67 points, his highest point total since his 1996-97 season with the Whalers.
Sanderson went on to play the better part of four seasons with the Blue Jackets before rejoining the Vancouver Canucks at the 2004 trade deadline. Acquired by the Canucks to provide some more offense, Sanderson went on to register seven points (3-4-7) in 13 games with the club before claimed off waivers by Columbus in the summer of 2004.
Following a lock out year in 2004-05, Sanderson was acquired by the Phoenix Coyotes in the early stages of the 2005-06 season. After recording 25 goals in 75 games with the Coyotes, Sanderson signed a two-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers in the summer of 2006.
As a Flyer Sanderson had 11 goals and 18 assists in 58 games before being dealt to the Edmonton Oilers in the summer of 2007.