He’s got all the stuff to bring back memories of the Broad Street Bullies – the long hair, the bit of a sneer and the shoulders that say “you want some of this?’’
Wade Allison may have played hockey at Western Michigan but he’s not your typical college boy. He looks, sounds and competes like one of those tough kids out of Canadian junior.
That roughhouse style might have contributed to a few injuries along the way but for the moment, he’s healthy, and that’s all that really matters as he looks to build on last season’s trial run with the Flyers.
At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Allison can be useful to the Flyers on a number of fronts, including a physical presence. In a 14-game trial with Philly last season, he registered an eye-catching four goals/seven points with a plus-1. In 10 games with the Phantoms, it was 4-5-9 with a plus-8.
Allison made it through those four years of hockey with bumps and bruises along the way but the 23-year-old keeps coming back for more.
At the Flyers’ development camp, he looks to build on last year’s momentum and find his way back into the varsity lineup.
“It’s new having the body feel good,’’ Allison said at the Skate Zone. “It’s nice. You’re able to put in the work that you need to every day and you’re not thinking about it. You’re not mentally stressed about whether your legs, shoulder, ankle, whatever it is, can support you. You kind of just know it’s going to be there. It’s especially good for my mental (well-being) and I don’t have to think about it. Things kind of just happened out there, so that’s huge. That’s the biggest thing for me.’’
The long list of past injuries includes a torn ACL, a separated shoulder, ankle surgery and a few concussions thrown in for good measure. Hopefully that’s all behind him now.
He’s been to a number of development camps so he has a pretty good handle on what needs to be done.
“Absolutely,’’ he said. “I’m older now. I’ve been to a bunch of these. I know everybody here. I’m just trying to stay in a good mental headspace. Do the best I can today and give myself the best opportunity tomorrow.’’
In last season’s audition, Allison showed he could play well at both ends of the ice and that helped build a trust with coach Alain Vigneault. Allison said getting a taste of the NHL was helpful.
“It’s huge,’’ he said. “Just a sample of what the speed, of the physicality is like. Just kind of test out the water and stuff. I feel confident in my ability. I think that hopefully I’ll make a push for the team this year.’’
Many of the young Flyers and prospects had a difficult time working out during the latter stages of 2020 due to the pandemic. This summer has been much different. There’s better access to gyms and rinks.
“It’s nice, it’s new,’’ Allison said. As for what the Flyers recommended for his offseason training, he added: “They told me not to get complacent. Show up everyday to work. Do the best I can so I can be better tomorrow.’’
Although he’s only 23, Allison has shown leadership traits by his willingness to help the 19- and 20-year-olds get their feet wet.
“You see a bunch of new guys here that haven’t been here before and obviously we’ve both been in their shoes before where you’re not exactly comfortable,’’ the Manitoba, Canada native said. “You don’t know everybody. You’re going into a new situation in a new scenario. For me and Frosty (Morgan Frost), for us to reach out to these younger guys, even just the small stuff, the small conversations, it’s big for them with their comfort level. Just try to be a leader out here. Show everybody the right path, lead with the small details that really do matter. They really do add up. It’s just the simple stuff. We’re not over preaching or anything. We’re just sharing what has worked for us and what can help them move their game forward.’’