Addison Embracing ‘Crazy’ Development Camp

Pens first draft pick getting acclimated

Josh Rowntree
June 27, 2018 - 9:00 pm
Penguins second-round draft pick and prospect Calen Addison at the team's development camp in June 2018

Josh Rowntree

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Penguins second-round draft pick Calen Addison celebrated his 18th birthday in April. As is the case with many breaking into adulthood, it's time to go to work. 

The smooth skating, skilled defenseman was selected 53rd overall by Pittsburgh during last weekend’s NHL Draft. 

“It’s pretty crazy,” Addison said following Wednesday’s prospect development camp. "You look around and think of all the good players that come in here every day. It’s pretty special.”

Addison spent last season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL, racking up 11 goals and 54 assists in 68 games. He was ranked 30th by NHL Central Scouting among North American players entering the Draft. 

“I play a similar game to the style the Penguins play,” he said when asked what the Penguins saw in him. "They picked me for a reason, so I’m just going to keep doing what I do and have fun out there.

“The style of game that they play is speed and skill. I think that those are my two biggest attributes.”

A bit undersized at 5’10”, 179 pounds, Addison will not only need to add size, but fine-tune parts of his game. 

"For sure, my defense,” he said. "Being my size and the way I play, I need to improve my defense if I want to play at the next level. I think that’ll come with maturity and getting bigger and stronger and smarter in the d-zone.”

With 37 other players, Addison is taking part in this week’s development camp that has produced some of Pittsburgh’s top talent over the last few seasons. It’s also a good time of year for players to get back on the ice after lengthy layoffs. 

“Just to get the rust off is a good feeling,” Addison added. "They make you feel really welcome here, so I’m not nervous at all and just having fun with it.”

"Now that I’m just with Pittsburgh, I can just focus on my own game and focus on one organization and just do the best I can every time I come here to try to show them what I’ve got."

Addison has not set a timetable on when he believes he’ll be able to make an impact at the NHL level. 

“All I can do is focus on what I can do in the summer and come in here ready to go and put my best foot forward on the ice,” he said. "That’s what I’m going to do every time I come here. But that’s up to them when they want me in the lineup.”

Born in Brandon, Manitoba, Addison is admittedly a big fan of Ottawa defenseman Eric Karlsson, but says he tries to model his game off  Colorado’s Tyson Barrie. He’s looking forward to meeting some of his childhood hockey icons, like Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

“He’s Sidney Crosby,” Addison. "He’s the best player in the world. He does everything right. When he gets here and I can watch him every day, I’m going to take that in. That’s not an experience that not many people get to have. So, every second I can follow him and watch what he does, that’s what I’m going to do, for sure.”

Hear more from Addison below.