Landing in the 23rd spot of the CanucksArmy prospect rankings is Lethbridge Hurricanes defenceman, Calen Addison.
Known for his dynamic offensive abilities, Addison leaves a little bit to be desired in the defensive zone. Obviously, being a defender, it’s something that he needs to improve going forward but it could be simply be something that will take time to round out.
He took a step forward in the playoffs and out-produced his scoring rates in the regular season.
Addison is likely a swing for the fences pick but you can’t teach the offensive game that he possesses.
- Age/Birthdate: 17.43/ April 11, 2000
- Birthplace: Brandon MB
- Frame: 5-foot-10/ 179 lbs
- Handedness: R
- Draft Year Team: Lethbridge Hurricanes(WHL)
- WBAAA Most Points
- U17 WHC Silver Medal
- Hlinka Memorial Gold Medal
Addison was selected with the 2nd overall pick in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft and was able to get into a couple regular season and playoff games that following season before making the leap to a full-time role in 2016-17.
He represented Canada at Ivan Hlinka to start this year.
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Addison stands out in terms of INV%, SEAL, Shots per game and pGPS.
He played some high event hockey throughout the year with a large portion of his offence coming on the man advantage.
Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)
Addison was leaned on quite heavily by the Hurricanes coaching staff and produced well based on that ice time. As we can see, he leaves his defensive counterparts behind in 5v5 eP60 and is well ahead quite a few forwards. It’s good to see as he did produce quite a bit with the time afforded to h, so at the very least, he was making the most of his 5v5 time.
For the most part, he made his linemates better in terms of GF% WOWY.
Given his smaller stature, Addison provides a small sample size of cohorts with 19 matches. It does produce a higher success rate with 48.2% of comparable players going onto becoming NHL regulars.
That is a really high number but important to remember the pool of matches that he is pulling from.
With so many draft-eligible players in the WHL players, there is the question about what their overall potential is. Quite a few of the players have exciting attributes but then lack in other areas and Addison is another one of those. He is a dynamic puck mover who generates offence through his distribution of the puck but size and strength are a huge question mark.
There are very little questions about his puck moving and offensive abilities. He is good at threading passes to his teammates with ease and displaying high levels of confidence in doing so. His shot is surprisingly heavy with the ability to hammer it on a one-timer. He is a powerplay quarterback through and through and uses those puck-moving tools and one-timer to be dominant on the man advantage.
During his D-1 season, he was less confident with the puck and more willing to move it forward rather than doing everything himself. This season, he was more confident to rush and carry the puck. It allowed him to create offensively more easily and forced opponents to retreat. It’s always a good sign to see a maturation to a player game from year to year and it’s fair to say that Addison improved in this area.
His skating is fantastic with great acceleration, lateral movement, pivoting and edge work. The Brandon native is fluid in all his skating movements and looks to be just gliding but can use his quick feet to accelerate.
The main issues that arise from his game are on the defensive side. Addison can be too aggressive when defending in his own zone and thus putting himself out of position. He also lacks upper body strength, which results in him having trouble against larger forwards in front of the net and along the boards.
Ideally, he would use his fantastic skating skills and hockey IQ to engage more efficiently in those aspects of the game.
Despite his smaller size, he isn’t afraid to go for the hit when the chance arises.
Addison is also a player with a really high compete level and that in part explains that aggressiveness in the defensive zone. He just pushes and pushes to make things happen and thus puts himself out of position. On the flip side, that competitiveness is why he is so effective in the offensive zone. Harnessing that side of his game will be a work in progress but not something that should be completely snuffed out.
Using the fantastic tracking project from Mitch Brown – Addison’s underlying numbers reinforce some of what the eye test shows.
Addison generates offence through his own shots or moving the puck to his teammates in prime positions. He is strong in his zone entries and zone exits but struggles at breaking up attacks in the neutral zone. If he can be aggressive in protecting the blue line on the attack, it may help his issues in the defensive zone and help allow him to generate offence.
We have Addison ranked a little higher than consensus but that is due to the points that I made about his transition game, offensive zone play and ability to quarterback a powerplay gives him a slight boost. His defensive issues are in part due to him doing too much with his rambunctious style of play, and they are likely overstated as he still posted a GF% over 50%.
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From Future Considerations:
Pure offense from the blue line, he is a nimble skater who is dynamic laterally and can provide onestep separation because of his quickness and acceleration. His range of gears is tough to pick up for opponents as he is so good at dictating pace and driving play from the back-end. He is so fluid with the puck, making him a comforting player who can cohesively travel with the puck through any motion or speed. Slight, sure, but he is an elite hockey IQ player who does everything well. His passing skill is impressive, thanks, in part, to his ability to always play heads up. He can thread the needle on feeds and typically provides a nice touch on his distributions. He is certainly a game-changer. He knows when to shoot, when to risk a pinch, when to come up with a redefining move to open passing lanes. He uses his cerebral skillset – and his impressive wheels – to make a difference in his own zone, too. He can close gaps in a blink and nullify many chances with his stick. However, he should play with more of a physical presence. He doesn’t show much compete in one-on-one battles, to the point that he can almost be a detriment inside his own zone. Even though he’s undersized, he definitely has more that he can offer in this department. Sky-high potential, though, despite his detractions.