Wade Allison: Stock Down
Wade Allison did not have a bad camp, in fact he was pretty solid but it was not enough to make the team. The Flyers demoted Allison, exposing him to waivers, where he went unclaimed, and he is now assigned to the Phantoms.
Allison was a second-round pick in 2016, and is now 25 years old. He has graduated past the typical age of a “prospect” and has entered the territory of “journeyman”. With Allison’s demotion, the chances of him becoming an NHL regular have diminished. The challenge will be for him to dominate at the AHL level, and above all stay healthy.
I do believe that he was a victim of circumstance this season, and is now suffering for his past failures and squandered opportunities. Bobby Brink had a camp that made him nearly undeniable, taking a potential roster spot from Allison. The emergence of Garnet Hathaway, Nic Deslauriers and Ryan Poehling as a unit effectively took away three potential roster spots from Allison. Is he finished as a Flyer? Not yet, if Briere trades some of the forwards, which is more likely than not, Allison could return to the big club. But this is not a good development for the winger. His demotion speaks volumes of how much confidence the club has in his ability to help them. If Allison is going to make a run at an NHL career, he better do it soon and in unquestionable fashion.
The Fourth Line: Stock Up
Perhaps the biggest surprise of this training camp was just how effective the coupling of Poehling, Deslauriers and Hathaway has been. This fourth line, between all three players, count less than $6 million against the cap. Their forecheck has caused real trouble for the opposition. This line looks like a physical and punishing trio that can hem teams deep in their own end.
It is nit picky to look for the downside on such a surprising and welcomed development, but this lines success has effectively crowded out players like Zayde Wisdom, Tanner Laczynski and Wade Allison, and even successfully undermined players with stellar camps, like Bobby Brink, to a point of uncertainty. That said it is a good problem.
Even though the fourth line looked good, it was still only preseason hockey. This line may not generate scoring chances at the same rate (10 high danger chances for and 1 against) over the season, but their physical play will pay dividends over of the course of a game, or dare I say a playoff series. If this line can stay healthy it will be very interesting to see if they remain consistently effective throughout the season.