The Philadelphia Flyers will be heading into the 2023-24 season with their fair share of unknowns, but one certainty is the amount of right wing depth they have. Of course, any given NHL team can only have four right wingers playing at a time, and the Flyers will have Travis Konecny, Owen Tippett, Tyson Foerster, Bobby Brink, Wade Allison, Tanner Laczysnki, Olle Lycksell, and Garnet Hathaway vying for those spots this season.
At the moment, Tippett and Konecny are guarantees to be on the opening night roster, provided neither of them are traded between now and then. Konecny was originally a heavily speculated trade target, but nothing materialized and those rumours have since cooled down. Tippett was the Flyers’ breakout star last season, and is heading into a contract year. Given his status as the team’s future on the flank, it’s highly unlikely he gets moved.
The veteran grinder Hathaway was only recently signed to a two-year deal, so he’ll also be a lock. This leaves one spot up for grabs for the youngsters, and it’s fair to assume Allison gets the first crack at it. Foerster was a top draft pick, and he’ll have chance too, but this ultimately comes down to their performances in preseason and training camp. After all, the Flyers might feel more inclined to send their prospects to Lehigh Valley so that the Phantoms can enjoy a successful season in the meantime.
What does this mean for the Flyers and Allison?
Allison is the first man up simply because he played the most last season. The 25-year old played in 60 games, and the production was fine for a fourth liner. Through 75 total games in the NHL, the forward has 13 goals and nine assists, which is about what is expected for a player in Allison’s role.
The production is fine, but what has not been apparent is that the Canadian might have another gear to his game. Allison served as his line’s play driver, and mostly excelled in that role, according to AllThreeZones microstats. He carried the puck into the zone with a lot of success and took most of the shots, but Allison’s teammates almost never scored from any of his passes.
Given how much the Flyers struggled defensively last year, it is hard to look at the underlying numbers and identify which of Allison’s teammates played the best alongside him, but one name sticks out: Morgan Frost. Frost and Allison only played 100 minutes together at 5-on-5, but had a positive Corsi rating of 51.36 percent. They also outscored their opponents on high-danger goals 4-1.
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Frost remains unsigned though, and it is unclear what the future holds for Allison right now. That will become more apparent over the course of the next month, but it would not be a surprise to see Flyers brass come back to this duo at a later date.