Calen Addison ripped a shot from the point which the goalie never saw. The shot was the overtime game-winner in Game 1 of the Lethbridge Hurricanes first round WHL playoff series and Addison is currently the Pittsburgh Penguins most highly touted defenseman prospect. Actually he may be the only one.
The 2018 NHL Entry Draft featured a treasure trove of defensive prospects with Rasmus Dahlin, Evan Bouchard, Quinn Hughes, and Adam Boqvist up for grabs. The hype remained colossal for Dahlin, and the other top five defensive prospects which left the door opened for regarded first-round talent to fall to the second round. Per usual, the Penguins did not have a first round pick but the deep pool of defensemen meant they didn’t get left out.
With the 53rd selection, the Penguins selected Addison. The Brandon, Manitoba native is a teammate of undrafted Penguins prospect Jordy Bellerive, who wowed the Penguins 2017 prospects camp. Addison also had a solid showing at the Penguins development camp and rookie tournament after being drafted last summer.
Perhaps Addison will break the Penguins second-round curse which now extends over 40 years. Not since 1976 second round pick Greg Malone has a Penguins second-rounder played even 200 games for the team. The closest was 2004 second-round pick Alex Goligoski who played 174 games with the Penguins before embarking on a long NHL career, elsewhere.
The Penguins have done exceptionally well in the third round with players like Jake Guentzel, Bryan Rust and Kris Letang. But the second round has been a much different story. Daniel Sprong and Tristan Jarry were Penguins second-round picks.
For PHN, I watched hours of tape of Addison. His skill set is noticeable, and his defensive game has progressed over a short period.