Tick tock….tick tock….tick tock…..You can hear the clock ticking down the minutes for some of the players on the Flyers. For some, their contracts will be up at the end of the NHL season (James van Reimsdyk, Brendan Lemieux) Other players are young and their contracts will have to be renewed. For Wade Allison, it’s a different story. He’s signed on for one more year at $785,000. But is time running out for him?
Allison was a second round pick in 2016. He was the fourth Flyer taken that year in what has to be one of the worst drafts ever. German Rubtsov was the first round pick that year. Pascal Laberge was the first of three second round picks. He is now slumming it in the ECHL after being released by the Phantoms and other AHL teams. The Flyers next picked Carter Hart and then Allison. So…thanks to Ron Hextall for the awesome picks!
One of his scouting reports before the draft said this:
"“Wade Allison plays a simple game, but a highly physical and highly effective one. He is a budding power forward, willing to throw hits on the fore check, get involved in battles along the boards, and go to the front of the net. Strong and powerful, Allison uses his well developed frame to dominate against his peers. He will need a little more muscle to do the same at the next level, but is well ahead of most prospects his age.He has a strong and powerful wrist shot which he gets off with a quick release. He also finds openings to set himself up for a powerful one-timer. Allison scores goals in close to the net with quick hands and the ability to bury rebounds and get tip ins. Alison’s assists come from digging pucks out of the corners and getting them to teammates. He could stand to work on his stick handling. He protects the puck with his size in the cycle game, but does not have the type of slick skills to beat defenders one-on-one. Allison is more likely to go through a defender, than try to go around him.”"
Allison had scored 25 goals as an 18 year old for the Tri-City Storm in the USHL. He went right to the college ranks, playing for Western Michigan University. He scored 27 goals over the course of the next two seasons. Then he got hurt in his junior year, tearing his ACL. This would be the first of a series of injuries for him.
At the start of the 2020-21 season, he suffered an injury in training camp and sat out again. Even this season, he suffered an injury. Even John Tortorella chimed in on this with his evaluation on Allison.
"“It’s hard to be consistent when you’re always hurt. That’s my struggle. You see him coming, you see him coming, now he’s out again.”"
And that has been the problem with him over his career. Allison, has played in just 75 career games for the Flyers. He played in 60 this season and just one last year. He scored nine goals this year with six assists. And for a guy with an injury history, he played fairly reckless. He was second on the team with 190 hits just behind Nicolas Deslauriers.
Because of the limitations on how much he has played, it’s hard to project what he will become. Could he use his speed and become a big power forward? Is he more suited to a fourth line depth piece that can batter people around? Maybe he and Desaluriers could be effective linemates…maybe with Jackson Cates? Has he lost a step due to his knee and lower body injuries?
His salary makes him worth keeping him around. It’s unfair to truly judge him as he hasn’t had much time to play. This, technically, was his rookie season having played in 15 previous games. He’ll also be turning 26 just as the season is starting up. It’s possible the best is yet to come.
But it is also possible that time is running out on him. If he can’t stay healthy this summer or if he can’t impress Tortorella during training camp, he might not be long for this Flyers roster.