Related: Eduard Sale
Cam Allen is the best defenseman available in the 2023 draft, and it isn’t even close; he is a total-package defenseman who captained Canada’s gold-medal squad at the Hlinka-Gretzky this summer and came out of the tournament with 7 points in 5 games. Allen is a tenacious, two-way defender, with great mobility and the ability to carry the puck in transition with a long and smooth stride. He’s also got very good hockey smarts and knows exactly when to jump into the offensive attack and when to back off and transition back to defense and defend against the rush. Despite being only 5’11, he has a penchant for the big hit and as he gets stronger, physicality should become a huge part of his game on the defensive end. Allen is already a more than competent powerplay QB with a strong vision. Any team who drafts Cameron Allen will be getting an elite two-way defenseman, who has the potential to be a top-4 defenseman. Combined with the fact that this year’s crop of defense isn’t very strong, it is possible for Allen to be a top-10 pick if a team is desperate to draft a defenseman.
Physical Play Great
Offensive Play Good
Defensive Play Excellent
Hockey Sense Excellent
1. Is a well-rounded defenseman who plays with tremendous composure and excellent defensive awareness and IQ.
2. He is very agile and has excellent edgework that allows him to control his movements very well and close gaps very effectively.
3. Allen has a very active stick, which he regularly uses to break up plays and to push play to the periphery, consistently defending the slot.
Areas of Improvement
1. His long-range passing accuracy needs some work if he is to be an elite two-way defenseman.
2. He loves shooting and has a good shot from medium range but he has a tendency to use it far too often while hugging the blueline.
3. Lack of elite offensive ability could cap him to being a second-pair guy at the NHL level.
Cameron Allen is the top defenseman in the 2023 class due to his deceptive ability, skilled planning, and well-rounded game. He plays with tremendous composure and is calculated with each play, rarely recklessly aggressive or naively passive. Allen is a very confident and mobile defender when carrying the puck in transition with a long and smooth stride. He’s got great smarts knowing when to back off and transition back to defense and defend against the rush. His spatial awareness is one of his greatest assets, and his quick reflexes allow him to weaponize this ability in the defensive zone, regularly intercepting the passes intended to get through his coverage. He may lack some strength, but he has demonstrated a willingness to get physically engaged, especially behind his net, flashing a real mean streak at times. Allen is a creative problem solver who excels at using bank passes to solve more complex problems and in transition, he is a capable carrier but typically prefers to pass the puck up ice. Offensively, he adores shooting the puck and his shot is a real threat at medium range, but he uses it far too often while hugging the offensive blueline, which more often than not results in a turnover; this trigger-happy tendency needs some refinement. While his puck-handling ability is high-end, there remain some doubts as to whether Allen’s skills are elite, which could cap him as a second-pairing guy at the NHL level. The NHL comparable for Cam Allen would be Charlie McAvoy, a well-rounded two-way defenseman, who plays bigger than his stature and can play in all situations. His tools are excellent, many of his habits are already pro-ready, and once he fills out his frame, he could be an extremely well-rounded defender who does it all: defend, hit, launch the breakout, activate offensively, and score. Allen has the potential to be a two-way blueliner with great hockey sense who defends well and drives play from the back end and projects as a top 4 defenseman at the NHL level; he should be a top 10 pick in the 2023 Draft.
Skill: Two-way blueliner with great hockey sense, defends well and drives play from the back end
NHL Comparable: Charlie McAvoy
NHL Potential: Top 4 Two-way Defenseman
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