One of the most debated players by all Flyers fans, including us here at Broad Street Hockey is Wade Allison. When we were asked to submit these rankings, some writers had him inside the top five, while for others he wasn’t even their top 15. Eventually, we settled on Allison as our number six prospect.
Everybody knows the talent and work rate is there, now the question is can he stay healthy for a full season.
No.6: Wade Allison
2021-22 League/Team: Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL), Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)
2021-22 Statistics: 10g, 7a, 28gp (AHL) 0g, 0a, 1gp (NHL)
Acquired: Drafted 2nd round, #52 overall (2016)
How did Allisons’ 2021-22 hockey season go? Is his stock trending up or down from where it was entering the year?
Last season was another tough one for Allison as he was once again bit by the injury bug. His season was delayed when he suffered a high ankle sprain in the second rookie game against the New York Rangers. When he returned in mid December it did not take long for him to find his form with the Phantoms. He managed one assist, ten shots on goal, and a shootout goal over his first two games returning from injury. He continued this strong performance and earned himself a call up on January 22 in a game against the Buffalo Sabres.
It seems everyone would agree Allisons stock has trended down the last few seasons. That is no fault of his play but more his unavailability. In his last two seasons he has only managed to play 15 NHL games and 38 AHL games. He has shown he can dominate the AHL and hold his own in the NHL but he has yet to show that he can stay healthy for long stretches of time.
What are we expecting from Allison this season? What should we be looking for from him?
I think a more appropriate word here would be what are we hoping from Wade Allison this year. Everyone including fans, teammates, coaches, front office is just hoping he can stay healthy whether that’s with the Flyers or down in Lehigh.
He has a very good chance of making the Flyers roster and could become one of John Tortorella’s favorite guys. He plays the exact game that Torts is looking for and has looked very comfortable going up against NHL talent.
When he plays he is one of the most exciting players the Flyers have to offer. He skates around like a wrecking ball hitting whatever he can catch, but also has the ability to be dangerous in the offensive zone with a wicked shot. It is this style of play though that can sometimes lead to his injuries. While it is a very important part of his game, and one I particularly enjoy, Allison may have to dial back his aggressiveness if he wants to stay healthy and on the ice.
How does Allison fit into the Flyers’ long term plans? Where does he stand in the Flyers organizational depth?
The Flyers just gave Allison a two year contract worth $785,000 a season. The first year of that contract has a two way option, while the final season is a one way deal. If we want to read into that, it seems as though the Flyers are giving him one year to get comfortable playing a full season, whether its in the AHL or NHL. The second year of this deal seems like a “prove it” year where he will have one last chance to make an impact with the big club.
There’s no doubt that even with his injury issues Allison is still one of the teams top prospects. However he will be 26-years-old when this contract expires and is running out of chances to prove himself as a full time NHLer. Everyone wants Allison to succeed and he has shown that he has the skills to compete. I hate to keep harken back to it but how he fits into the Flyers long term plan, where he sits in the organizations depth, all of this depends on one thing, can he stay on the ice.
What do we think Allisons ultimate NHL upside is, and how is it that he gets to something approaching that?
At this point I think a realistic expectation for Allison is a bottom six forward. His style of play allows him to fit in really well to a checking forward role, but he is also a guy who I could see recording 20-30 points a year. His longest NHL stint came in the 2020-21 season. He played 14 games and recorded four goals and 3 assists for seven points in those games.
In only 38 AHL games he has 26 points, including 14 goals. He just looks better than most people in that league and doesn’t have much more to prove down there. I would like to see him fill a 13th forward role with the Flyers this season. Just to play enough to get him acclimated to the full time NHL lifestyle, while also working on getting his body in the best shape. This feels like a do-or-die two years for Allison. He has a chance to turn his career around and be the player people were hoping and expecting he’d be, or he may just be another unfortunate story riddled with injuries.