The Philadelphia Wings offseason is taking full strides two days after the announcement of goaltender, Zach Higgins’, three-year contract extension. Today, the Wings extended two-years to the contracts of transition defenseman, Isaiah Davis-Allen, and forward, Blaze Riorden. Throughout the 2020 campaign, Davis-Allen played eleven games while securing 33 loose balls. A playmaker, Riorden recorded 42 points in fourteen games, doubling his goals scored total with assists. Both of these players were trending upwards from their 2019 season totals in 2020.
Of all the transition defensemen that played more than ten games, Isaiah Davis-Allen and Alex Pace protected the ball the best. Both of them only turned over the ball once. Davis-Allen occasionally took a faceoff. He’s the only defensive player to do so in 2020 for the Philadelphia Wings, winning 33.3% of his draws. His extension is a product of his potential to excel in all aspects of box lacrosse.
Blaze Riorden played in every game for the Philadelphia Wings in 2020. After fourteen games played, he finished fourth in team scoring and third in team assists. Once Riorden finds his groove, he’s a mainstay in the Wings attack. The faith that Philadelphia shows in Riorden supports that.
A two-year extension for a player like Riorden is an intelligent investment. An often overlooked statistic shows the value in having him suit up in Philadelphia: Screen Assists. Amongst the league, Blaze is fourth for the average number of screen assists placed per game. Averaging 17:29 for time on the field, he also averages .91 screen assists – just above Lyle Thompson’s .74 in 22:66 minutes. Blaze retweeted the graphic from Playing from Behind, commenting, “Do the little things well!”
These contract extensions through 2022 further the commitment that Paul Day has to his locker room. In Blaze Riorden, Day has one of the best attackmen in lacrosse. With Isaiah Davis-Allen, Day has a “swiss-army knife” style player that hasn’t yet met his full potential. Expectations will be high for the Philadelphia Wings in 2021, and these are two more players who will help meet those standards.