No. 7: Wade Allison
2020-21 League/Team(s): Flyers/Phantoms
2020-21 Statistics: 4 G, 3, 7 P in 14 G/ 4 G, 5A, 9 P in 10 G
Acquired In: 2016 NHL Entry Draft, 52nd overall
Ranking in Spring 2020 25 Under 25: 17
How did Allison’s 2020-21 hockey season go? Is his stock trending up or down from where it was entering the year?
After making us wait through four college seasons — and a couple big injury scares — Wade Allison burst onto the professional scene in 2020-21 with production at both the AHL and NHL level. The former Western Michigan standout impressed with nine points in 10 AHL games before being called up to the Flyers and registering four goals and three assists in 14 games.
But not only did Allison produce in the scoresheet, he injected some badly needed energy, effort, and enthusiasm into the lineup late in the year — juice, if you will. Allison’s metrics at 5-on-5 per NaturalStatTrick showed a play driver with plus shot and goal differential metrics to indicate signs of continued success — 53.61% Corsi For, 55.56% Goals For, 53.77% Scoring Chances For.
Given that the only thing holding Allison back in the past — he scored a ton in college to the tune of 97 points in 106 games — was the injury bug, a mostly healthy campaign showed what type of impact he could have on the ice and resulted in his stock going way up as compared to the start of the season.
What are we expecting from Allison this season? What should we be looking for from him?
We were expecting Allison to bring that same juice he showed at the end of 2020-21 into this season by pushing for an opening night job in the Flyers’ lineup, rendering a low ceiling veteran expendable in favor of a higher-upside option.
That was… until he banged up his ankle — the team is calling it a high ankle sprain — in a rookie game against the Rangers on Sunday evening. The timetable for his return is in the weeks range, and the term “indefinite” was used by the Flyers as an idea of how long the 23-year-old would be sidelined.
This was right before Wade Allison got injured. He’s defending Brian Zanetti, a Swiss defenseman who he likely just met less than a month ago. But he’s still going all out for him. pic.twitter.com/vKouaajU0y— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) September 20, 2021
It’s a disappointing setback for a couple different reasons, ranging from impacting the Flyers’ roster construction to a return to injury woes for a player who seemed to finally be turning the corner and establishing himself as an NHL regular.
If we can assume that Allison heals up and gets back to 100%, we expect him to provide more of the same energy he brought to the bottom-six upon his arrival last season and maintain the versatility to play up in the lineup if needed. Allison showed that he’s willing to go to the dirty areas to score goals, was a hound on the forecheck, and played with plenty of sandpaper in his game.
If he returns fully healthy from his ankle injury, the Flyers likely have a much more effective — and productive — option to plug into the bottom-six this season.
How does Allison fit into the Flyers’ long-term plans? Where does he stand in the Flyers’ organizational depth?
The Flyers have been waiting for Allison for some time, and through two sets of front office personnel to boot. The wait was worth it last season, and the coaching staff liked his play enough to make his call up more than just a cup of coffee on a team destined to miss the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Even with Joel Farabee, Travis Konecny, and Cam Atkinson locked up to long-term deals as wingers, James van Riemsdyk and Oskar Lindblom have just two years left on their deals and Claude Giroux’s status beyond this season is up in the air. If Allison is the real deal, the Flyers can move on from JVR with relative ease by replacing his production with the cap hits of Farabee and Allison to fill the void and even gain some flexibility to get creative in trades if need be.
Allison showed that he had the potential to thrive in a variety of roles last season — from point production to bottom-six energy guy — and could prove to be a valuable piece in a flex role moving forward beyond the likes of those names above.
There aren’t many forwards above Allison on the organizational depth chart as of this writing, and he’s got a real chance to stick in the lineup if he’s healthy and make an impact.
What do we think Allison’s ultimate NHL upside is, and how likely is it that he gets to something approaching that?
Given his penchant for scoring at just about every level, combined with his size, skating, and competitiveness — there’s no reason that Allison can’t stick as an NHL regular with upside of a top-nine winger. He needs to stay healthy, and another rather significant injury doesn’t help, but if he does he can really provide the Flyers with a ton of value moving forward.
We’ve been waiting a long time to see Allison, but the wait was worth it last season and there’s still room for him to improve as he settles into the professional game after four rather dominant seasons at the collegiate level.
Good things happen when shooting the puck:
Wade Allison SNIPE makes it 2-1 pic.twitter.com/qagrAwz73B— Nasty Knuckles (@NastyKnuckles) May 8, 2021
Willing to pay the price in the high-danger areas:
Ready to shoot, ready to snipe:
Right when I think I’m out, Wade Allison pulls me back in. pic.twitter.com/v6x8NRUy20— Incorrect Philadelphia Flyers (@IncorrectFlyers) May 4, 2021
Willing to do the dirty work:
How We Voted: Wade Allison
How We Voted: No. 7
|Cam York||Samuel Ersson||Wade Allison||Cam York||Egor Zamula||Morgan Frost||Morgan Frost||Cam York||Morgan Frost||Cam York|
Previously in Flyers Summer 2021 Top 25 Under 25:
- No. T-24: Ivan Fedotov
- No. T-24: German Rubtsov
- No. 23: Jay O’Brien
- No. 22: David Kase
- No. 21: Linus “The Hog” Hogberg
- No. 20: Isaac Ratcliffe
- No. 19: Ronnie Attard
- No. 18: Connor Bunnaman
- No. 17: Noah Cates
- No. 16: Elliot Desnoyers
- No. 15: Emil Andrae
- No. 14: Samu Tuomaala
- No. 13: Zayde Wisdom
- No. T-11: Tanner Laczynski
- No. T-11: Samuel Ersson
- No. 10: Bobby Brink
- No. 9: Egor Zamula
- No. 8: Tyson Foerster