Flyers’ Wade Allison Continues Big Strides into NHL

Looking to the future of the Philadelphia Flyers, there is a player who is already making an impact in his first-ever pro season in an NHL system. He has solid potential to be a key member of the Flyers for many years to come. The talent being discussed is 23-year-old right winger Wade Allison. His journey to the NHL has been quick to a certain extent so far, but he is gaining early valuable experience that can further progress his development.

Earning the NHL Nod

Allison was drafted by Philadelphia in the second round (52nd overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft. He had just come off his second season in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with the Tri-City Storm, where he had a big spurt in point production. Season One in 2014-15 saw him post 13 points in 35 games (six goals and seven assists). Playing in 21 more games the following year, Wade racked up 25 goals and 22 assists for 47 points in 56 games.

Following his selection in 2016, Allison headed to the NCAA to suit up for the Western Michigan University Broncos. He played out his entire college career, accumulating 97 points in 106 games (45 goals and 52 assists) throughout four seasons. His season-by-season stats with the Broncos are below:

  • 2016-17: 12 goals and 17 assists for 29 points in 36 games
  • 2017-18: 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points in 22 games
  • 2018-19: eight goals and seven assists for 15 points in 22 games
  • 2019-20: 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points in 26 games

Allison was then signed by the Flyers in March of 2020. He made his NHL system start in the American Hockey League with Philly’s affiliate Lehigh Valley Phantoms this season. However, as this article is being written, he has only played in eight games for the Phantoms. During that span, he tallied more than a point-per-game with nine (four goals and five assists). His AHL debut specifically was even more special with the fact that he scored his first goal that game as well.

Wade Allison Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Wade Allison scored his first AHL goal in his first game with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Despite a short tenure with Lehigh Valley to this point in time, the Flyers brass felt based on current circumstances that he was ready to get experience at the NHL level as well. He was recalled to Philadelphia’s taxi squad, along with forward Tanner Laczynski, on April 10.

Continuing His Early Success

Allison was making big strides already in the AHL with the Phantoms. He came out of the gates with a goal in his debut there and was an over-a-point-per-game talent right off the bat for them in eight matchups. For some players, it takes a little while for them to adjust to the AHL level, no matter what their prior hockey background is. There are many players too who do not ever get adjusted. Wade fit right in with the Phantoms and it took no time at all for him to make an impact.

It is even more impressive that Allison has kind of done the same thing on the NHL level too. He made his Flyers debut against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on April 15 and went pointless. He skated for a little over 11 minutes of ice-time though and produced four shots in what ended as a 2-1 Flyers shootout victory. However, his second NHL matchup was where he would strike gold.

Allison scored his first NHL goal versus the Washington Capitals on April 17 at Wells Fargo Center in the City of Brotherly Love. He was set up nicely on the goal thanks to assists by veteran leaders in Kevin Hayes and captain Claude Giroux.

Wade Allison Philadelphia Flyers
Allison made his Philadelphia Flyers debut against the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Credit deserves to go to both veterans, but another person who deserves praise is head coach Alain Vigneault. A.V. was willing to give Wade valuable ice-time in a crucial game situation. Philly was down two goals on the power play as the third period was inching towards the halfway mark. Vigneault could have easily put someone else out there on the power play, but he put his trust in Wade and it paid off. Allison camped in front of the net and slapped the puck in on the doorstep to cut the Capitals’ lead in half, making the score 4-3. The Flyers may not have won that game, but he stepped up in a crucial moment and made it work on his end.

As things stand right now, Allison has the lone goal as his only point in three games so far with Philadelphia. It will be interesting to see how he is used throughout the rest of the season; either in the Flyers lineup, on the taxi squad, or down in the AHL with the Phantoms. Flyers management will have to figure out his development plan, but he has already accomplished a bit right away so far in his first pro season. It can potentially be a sign of many more things to come for the winger as he looks to grow into an NHL regular.