Last week Friday, Things with the Minnesota Wild had seemed quiet, almost too quiet, that is until they announced that they have signed yet another defenseman, this time inking 34 year old Jordie Benn to a 1-year deal.
The signing of Benn shows just how committed the Wild were to the defensive overhaul they took this summer in addition to the signings of Alex Goligoski, Dmitry Kulikov and Jon Merrill but if course, the losses the Wild took on defense this summer weren’t just going to fill there selves back in were they?
There was one fan favorited and hopeful prospect that was seemingly eyeballed as a shoe in to fill an empty spot on the depleted core, that prospect being former 2nd round pick Calen Addison.
As everyone will know by now, Calen Addison was acquired by the Wild before the trade deadline in 2020 in the Jason Zucker trade and by acquiring Addison, he immediately became Minnesota’s top defensive prospect and he hadn’t even played a full season in the AHL yet. Long and behold, COVID-19 had put the hockey world into a pause and thus ending Addison’s junior career.
Although it is worth noting that the Wild did however recall Addison for their expended roster for the Edmonton bubble when the Stanley Cup playoffs resumed in the summer of 2020 but unfortunately, Addison didn’t see any game time.
2020-2021 provided Addison with such great opportunities, it provided him a spot in the lineup with the Iowa Wild and a chance to take his game to the next level and develop further into what the Wild were hoping for.
With Tim Army at the helm of the Iowa Wild, Addison made an impact in Iowa showing a strong defensive game and also putting up some points as he tallied 22 points in 31 AHL games, not bad for a rookie defenseman. The performance in Iowa wasn’t for nothing as Addison was recalled to Minnesota for a short 3 game stint due to outstanding injuries on the blueline, it would be the only NHL action he would see during the season.
Even with Jordie Benn signing with Minnesota, it shouldn’t be looked at as to say the Wild aren’t high on him anymore, it should be looked at more as to say that them giving Calen Addison another year to develop in the AHL means good things for both the club and Addison.
*Stats from NHL.com