Flyers Development Camp: Wade Allison a Potential Fan Favorite

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 10: Wade Allison #57 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Wells Fargo Center on May 10, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 10: Wade Allison #57 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Wells Fargo Center on May 10, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

As the Philadelphia Flyers near the end of their offseason development camp, right-winger Wade Allison remains a favorite to land a roster spot when the regular season begins on October 15.

The 23-year-old impressed during his first NHL action, a 14-game stint at the end of the 2020-21 season. His aggressive, scrappy style brought energy to a Flyers team that had reached a sluggish point in an overall disappointing season. He was in and around the crease from the night of his debut. He finished the season with four goals and three assists. He also notched nine points in 10 games with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms prior to his callup in April.

Allison’s strong shot was on full display this weekend in Vorhees. Having already spent four years in the NCAA at Western Michigan University, he is considered among the most NHL-ready prospects skating at the five-day camp.

Allison plays the game with a mentality Flyers fans love. Past legends like Scott Hartnell and Wayne Simmonds became fan favorites with a fearless style that Allison should look to emulate. Both players were physical wingers who built reputations as great teammates. Their work in front of opposing goaltenders helped them play the “garbage scorer” role that meshes well with more skilled players like Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier.

Allison is unlikely to play at the top of the lineup in 2021-22, but he could bring a vital presence to a bottom-six forward group that didn’t make adequate contributions last season.

The gritty, “x-factor” element of hockey feeds into the nature of the crowd in Philadelphia. The 2020-21 team lacked the necessary determination over the course of the season. The spark that Allison provided, albeit late in the season when a playoff berth was highly improbable, was one of the few bright spots in that area of the game. Head coach Alain Vigneault also complimented Allison for the personality he brought to the dressing room late last season.

He will also continue a bizarre trend of Flyers with hair color complementing orange uniforms. Giroux, Hartnell, and Jakub Voracek first caught the attention of fans with this strange anomaly. Allison and fellow top prospect Cam York can now carry it into the future.

Allison is considered 100% healthy entering the 2021-22 season after dealing with sporadic injuries in recent seasons. The apparent inside track he holds to land a roster spot could allow him to become a valuable depth player during a season when the Flyers will seek redemption for last year’s disappointment.