LONDON, ON. — The Montreal Canadiens, as they have done on more than one occasion, took a chance on a player in the later rounds of the NHL Entry Draft. In 2015 in the 7th round (207th overall) the Habs selected Jeremiah Addison, of the Ottawa 67’s.
Originally drafted by the Saginaw Spirit in the OHL, Addison played the first two seasons of his OHL career with the Spirit, mainly as a defensive forward. He was dealt to the 67’s and quickly found the offensive side of his game playing alongside 67’s standout Travis Konecny. This helped his draft ranking climb to 129th amongst North American players, but again the Canadiens braintrust found him still available at the 207th spot and jumped at the chance to have Addison in the fold.
Addison is an outstanding defensive forward, who possesses good hockey sense and if he is to make the jump in the next few seasons to the NHL it will be as a bottom-6 defensive forward. Having found his offensive touch with the 67’s has made him a dangerous player at the OHL level being able to play in all situations. He was again traded, this time to the Windsor Spitfires and this season playing in his overage year will be counted on to be a leader on the Memorial Cup hosts.
The Spitfires early into the season are loaded with talent including fellow Montreal prospect Mikhail Sergachev. With the players that they have amassed, Addison is third on the team in scoring with 18 points in only 13 games. What is lost by many who haven’t seen him play (as often as I have), is the grit and sandpaper that he brings to the table. He gets under the skin of the opposition from the opening puck drop, with both his constant banter on the ice and his tenacious forechecking.
Jeremiah will never be a top scorer at the pro level. Rather, it will be his defensive play that will propel him forward in his career. He has that uncommon, uncanny ability to read the play and anticipate passes from opposing players. He also matches up well with the top player from whatever team he faces. You could call him a throwback to the shadow that is rarely seen in this day and age of hockey.
What Addison will have to improve is his skating. He is a good skater at the OHL level, but not good enough to excel even at the AHL level. That said, his skating has improved throughout his junior career and I expect that he will continue to improve when he embarks on his professional career. Not many seventh round draft picks ever make it to the ranks of the NHL ,but in Addison, the Habs definitely have a solid prospect who may turn some heads in the near future.
There still is the chance that Addison may start his pro career this season depending the direction and the future moves Windsor makes this season. It wouldn’t hurt his career to be either at the ECHL or AHL level this year.