The Journey: Fastest Rising Prospect Defensemen

Brayden Olafson


It’s been quite some time since the last exclusive installment of the fastest rising prospect defensemen. With the unique variations of this segment that were rolled out over the last 12 months, the classic format seems to be just as popular as any of the others. 

Having missed a couple of months since the previous edition, January’s look at the fastest rising prospect defenseman will take into account not only the movement each player has seen in the last 30 days, but will also account for an additional month prior to that. 

The best part about the rankings that Dobber posts at this time of year is that rather than seeing obtuse changes in his rankings due to players inflating or deflating their value at training camp or early in the season, we get a much bigger picture. Now that most players have had upwards of three months to get accustomed to their respective roles, we’re seeing much more value driven revisions to the rankings. When a player is able to climb the ladder of these lists amongst the mid-season stability, it’s usually a sign that they have a stable and positive long-term trajectory from their current role. 

So, without any further ado, here they are…

Calen Addison, Pittsburgh Penguins 

November – 63th | December – 63th (-) | January – 24th (+39)

The Penguins second-round draft-pick made his presence known on the international stage for prospects at the U20 World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic this holiday season. From quarterbacking Canada’s umbrella, to dominating physically in the defensive zone, Addison emerged as a player with a much larger toolkit than previously given credit for. 

The 19-year-old became known for his heavy and lethal slap shot from the middle of Canada’s blueline. Addison’s timing on the powerplay was sufficient to overcome the strongest peer-to-peer defense that the world has to offer, providing optimism that the 5-10 blueliner could have a future as a power play force in the NHL. 

On a decent squad in Lethbridge of the WHL, Addison’s production has been somewhat stagnant since being drafted. The conflicting signals of his blatant success at the WJC and his lack of progress in the WHL leave his trajectory unsettled.

More recently, Addison was snubbed from the Hurricanes lineup versus the Prince Albert Raiders. Since he wasn’t included in the team’s list of injured players, it might be assumed that Addison was left off the nightly ros