Flyers Sign 2016 2nd Rounder Wade Allison to ELC
"There's no point in frowning when you could be smiling" - Wade Allison.
Just four days after signing Ohio State senior forward Tanner Laczynski to his entry-level contract, the Flyers did the same with their other pending UFA senior. 2016 2nd round pick Wade Allison inked a 2-year, $925,000 entry-level deal with the Flyers Friday evening.
Like Laczynski, Allison was selected by Ron Hextall, who was extremely high on the ginger right winger when he left the organization in November 2018. Allison had a tremendous start to his collegiate career, 59 points in his first 58 games at the University of Western Michigan.
However, Allison tore his ACL towards the end of his sophomore season, and suffered a series of other injuries after returning, which took a little longer than expected. That led to an unspectacular junior season (15 points in just 22 games) and a slow start to his senior campaign. Allison appeared to hit his stride as the season progressed, scoring 9 goals and 19 points in his last 15 contests (per The Athletic's Charlie O'Connor).
Like Laczynski, Allison is a pretty complete player. He doesn't necessarily have a glaring flaw. The injuries are a bit of a concern, especially the ACL. But Allison has a really good shot - he was probably the best sniper in the Flyers pipeline until Bobby Brink was drafted last summer. He's also not afraid to throw the body, and at 6'2'', 205 lbs, his physical adjustment to the NHL shouldn't be too hard.
Because of his injury history and the lost development time that comes with them, Allison is likely to start the 2020-21 season with the Phantoms. However, the 52nd pick in the 2016 draft could see NHL time perhaps as soon as next season if everything goes right. Realistically, he's probably a year to a year-and-a-half away from being a full-time NHLer. The good news is Allison has top-nine upside; he could be a legitimate scoring threat. And even if he doesn't reach his full potential, his size and compete level could make him a nice bottom-sixer for the future.
Losing Allison and (especially) Laczynski would have been a tough blow for an already deep Flyers forward pipeline. Both players could have walked into unrestricted free agency this summer and gone to another team where they would have a better shot of being full-time NHLers this season. Because of the Flyers outstanding depth, they may have to wait a little bit. But the Flyers showed with players like Carsen Twarynski, Connor Bunnaman, and Nicolas Aube-Kubel is that if you play well, you'll get your shot. Both players have a chance to be quality NHLers and help the Flyers push to end their 45-year Cup drought, even if they likely won't be key cogs in the NHL machine.