In yesterday’s end-of-season press conference General Manager Chuck Fletcher stated he anticipates prospect Wade Allison will be heading back to college for his senior season. While this may not seem like a massive issue from the exterior, there are some underlying concerns here.
Fletcher said he anticipates Wade Allison will return to college for senior season. Tanner Laczynski wants to take some time off and then figure out his next step.— Bill Meltzer (@billmeltzer) April 8, 2019
Last offseason, we learned that then GM Ron Hextall was quite adamant about wanting Wade Allison to turn pro. At the time, the 21 year old winger was coming off an impressive season that was cut short by a torn ACL. The injury took away what could have been a Hobey Baker Award finalist season for Allison. Given the injury, it somewhat made sense for Allison to not want to rush himself and get back into a rhythm with Western Michigan, and turn pro this off season. That unfortunately doesn’t appear to be the case.
So that begs the question, what’s the hold up? The Flyers have made it clear they like Allison, and want him to make the leap and turn pro, so why doesn’t Allison? There are many varying factors that can play into decisions like this and none of us really know what the reason is, but that makes it all the more concerning. If this is a matter of Allison not wanting to play in Philadelphia, the Flyers have a relatively big problem on their hands. Allison was a former second round pick and someone who appears to be a legit goal scoring threat, and a dynamic winger which coincidentally are exactly what the Flyers could use in free agency.
Not only does Allison appear to be a very good hockey player with a bright future, but he fits a need for the hockey team that drafted him. This would be a totally different story if the Flyers seemed to be the ones dis-interested in signing the explosive winger, but it’s not. This is the player deciding not to sign and from a purely emotional and fan perspective, it’s kinda annoying. This could be overreacting and Allison could sign next offseason and we’ll be looking back on this and laugh. Or, we’ll be extremely annoyed and frustrated that Allison refused to sign and is now a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins or some other unbearable nonsense.
Regardless, barring any last minute change, Allison will play all four seasons at Western Michigan and attempt to get back on track after recovering from his injury last season, in a year which still saw him put up 15 points in 22 games. Hopefully, by this time next season we’ll be seeing Allison sign his first pro deal, as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.