At one time, not too long ago, the future looked bright for Wade Allison. In 2016, the Philadelphia Flyers scooped him up in the second round of the draft, expecting to transform into a valuable scoring NHL winger down the road. Allison just came off of a successful season in the USHL, recording 25 goals and 22 assists in 56 games for the Tri-City Storm. He was headed to Western Michigan where he would experience promising freshman and sophomore campaigns. Unfortunately, after constant battles with injury, what lies ahead for the Manitoba native is no longer clear.
Allison’s injury struggles began in January of his sophomore year. In a game against St. Cloud, Allison tore his ACL, putting him on the shelf for the rest of the season. Before that point, the young forward was off to a strong start. Allison posted 15 goals and 15 assists and appeared to be one of the rising stars in the NCHC.
Unfortunately, Allison’s ACL injury kept him out of action to start the 2018-19 season as well. He battled with his recovery throughout the season’s entirety, only playing in 22 games for the second year in a row. However, when Allison was able to play, glimpses of his capabilities were on display. In a small sample size, he still managed eight goals and seven assists while not being completely healthy.
Before his ACL injury, it would have been a safe bet that Allison would have signed his entry-level contract with the Flyers by the end of his junior year. However, it’s never clear if a player will come back the same after such a brutal injury. With that hesitation in mind, Chuck Fletcher decided to hold off on the ELC offer for Allison, sending him back to WMU for his senior season.
Still, the odds of Allison becoming a Flyer remained high. All he needed to do was stay healthy and put up the production everyone knew he was capable of. Unfortunately, Allison is still struggling to stay healthy. A shoulder injury has limited Allison to just seven games this season. He has not played a game since November 15th and it’s unclear when, or if, he will return.
It’s heartbreaking, but Allison’s future with the Flyers organization is very much in jeopardy. When he’s healthy, Wade Allison is very capable of being an impact player. However, more often than not, “injured” describes his status. This is a major red flag for Fletcher and the Flyers. It’s a risk to sign a player in Allison’s shoes because there’s no telling what’s in store for the young prospect.
At the end of the day, it will be a risk the Flyers won’t take. Barring a miraculous comeback, Wade Allison is not in Philadelphia’s future plans.
Mandatory Credit: Alex McIntyre