NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – Brahmas forward Justin Addamo has announced that he will play college hockey at Robert Morris University. Addamo will spend one more season playing juniors before heading northeast in the fall of 2018.
“I’m very happy and proud to be committed,” Addamo said. “One of my goals was to play NCAA Division I hockey and now I will have that opportunity. I want to say thank you to the coaches and to all the players on the team.”
“I think it’s a great opportunity for him to go to a good program that has been very successful over the last three, four years and it should be great for his schooling, too,” Head Coach Dan Wildfong said.
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound forward has seven goals and six assists through 24 games this season. His four game winning goals are best in the North American Hockey League. A few of his goals from the NAHL Showcase in particular caught some attention of scouts and he used that momentum to produce a strong start to the season.
“I think he started off a little slow. He scored some nice goals, but I think he is really starting to step into a zone,” Wildfong said. “He’s been getting NHL interest along with obviously his college commitment. He’s got that National Team he’s going to do. There’s a lot of positives going his way.”
The native of Clermont-Ferrand, France is traveling to Germany in December to compete with the France Under-20 team in the Division I Group A IIHF World Junior Championship. Addamo has already left the Brahmas with training camp starting on Saturday, December 3.
Justin Addamo will play five games in seven days for the U20 French National Team between December 11th and December 17th. This month represents a critical one for Addamo, who looks to draw NHL interest during his international stint.
He will return after the conclusion of the tournament and rejoin the Brahmas starting in January.
Wildfong went on to say that he’s “playing heavy with his game” and has done a great job banging bodies and working in forecheck battles. As Addamo adjusts to the American style of the sport, he is also learning how to best take advantage of his size and reach.
“He is learning better puck protection skills and I think he’s starting to utilize his size more now because it’s a more physical game here (in the NAHL). That’s really making him more effective and I think as that progresses he’ll be that much more successful at the next level as well,” Assistant Coach Al Rooney said.
The coaching staff knew Addamo could shine in the South Division and he is cashing in minutes on the team’s power play and even some on the penalty kill unit.
“All along, we knew we were getting a really raw player,” Rooney added. “His willingness to put his nose to the grindstone and do the work, it’s one thing to have his natural ability, but it’s another to actually draw that out and it’s a process between the coach and the player and the player needs to buy in and he has. He’s done a fantastic job and he’s playing hard for himself and his teammates so he’s doing everything we asked.”
Addamo was named a “C-Rated” prospect on the NHL’s Preliminary Watch List for the 2017 Draft in June, meaning the pre-season rankings say he is projected to be drafted in the NHL as early as the fourth round. The Brahmas forward is not focused on his professional career yet.
“I’ll keep working for the team and I want us to win the championship this year and help my teammates get committed,” Addamo said.
Because Addamo does not enroll at RMU until 2018, there is a chance he could return to Brahmaland for another season. He knows his decision to sign with Robert Morris will lead to better things down the road.
“It’s a great school. They have a very good Business program and their coaches are very good. I’m very proud to be a part of their program,” Addamo added.