Things were going fantastically last year for Wade Allison until midway through his sophomore season with Western Michigan when he sustained a serious knee injury against St. Cloud State. The right winger had already topped his offensive totals from his freshman NCAA campaign – and did so in 14 fewer games – but he’d taken his final shift of 2017-18.
Now, Allison is looking for redemption. He spent most of the summer on campus in Kalamazoo rehabbing his knee. “It’s super tough,” he said. “There’s the physical aspect, but it’s more mentally draining, not being out on the ice with the guys every day.”
Without Allison, Western Michigan was cannon fodder for Minnesota-Duluth in the first round of the NCHC tournament – the Broncos didn’t score a single goal in two losses – but with the Flyers prospect getting healthy, Western Michigan will return its top eight scorers from last year. “The goal is to win a national championship,” Allison said. “There’s a positive attitude at the rink, everyone’s happy, and I like the way things have started.”
On top of getting back to full strength, Allison’s mission is to get faster. He’s a power forward with a great shot, and production has never been an issue, but the small-town Manitoba farm boy knows how fast today’s game is. “I’d like to be a little quicker,” he said. “That way I can buy myself that extra half-second to make a play.”
Allison did see one silver lining from his injury: because he couldn’t participate in the on-ice component of Philadelphia’s development camp this summer, his focus shifted to the more philosophical off-ice sessions the Flyers held for their future players. “I was able to soak in the information more this year because I wasn’t worried about the on-ice part,” he said. “I like the way the Flyers carry themselves as an organization and how professional they are. It was very impressive.”
This story appears in the Prospects Unlimited 2018 issue of The Hockey News magazine.