Wade Allison has to be one of the more unknown prospects ranked in the early stages of this year's Draft, because up until a couple months ago, he wasn't considered much of a prospect. But Allison had a sensational second half of the season, and was NHL Central Scouting's biggest riser from their mid-term rankings to their final ranking. Now, Allison is a definite draft pick, and one that should be picked fairly high in the Draft.
Player: Wade Allison
Team: Tri-City Storm(USHL)
Position: Right Wing/Center
Height: 6'2" Weight: 205 lbs.
Stats: 56 games, 25 goals 22 assists, 44 points, +16
Final NHL Central Scouting Rank: 62nd among North American skaters
What I Like:
Allison is strong and tough. He uses his big frame to win puck battles and is difficult to knock off the puck. Allison does his best work in front of the opposition's net where he can use his size and strength. He makes strong moves towards the goal and is willing to fight through contact to make a play.
-On the Rise
No player is coming into the Draft with more momentum than Allison. He made the biggest jump of any player from Central Scouting's mid-term rankings to their final rankings, jumping from 192nd to 62nd on the North American skaters list. And he had a great finish to his season after the final Central Scouting rankings came out. He had a league-best nine goals in the USHL playoffs, leading his team to the USHL playoff championship and being named the league's playoff MVP. It's a small sample size, but he's showing tremendous upward trajectory.
What I Don't Like:
-Not Good in Open Ice
Allison isn't the type of player that is going to make dazzling plays in the open ice with his skating and puckhandling ability. He definitely works better in tight spaces. He shows good weight shift and edge control with his skating, but his straight-line speed isn't spectacular.
-Slow First Step
Though he's a powerful skater, Allison's first step isn't that great. He's slow to accelerate and can sometimes struggle in open ice because of it.
-Still Working on Defense
Allison isn't quite a complete 200-foot player yet as he is still improving on the defensive end. Those issues should be corrected though when he heads to college hockey and plays in Andy Murray's defensive-minded system at Western Michigan
Allison is definitely a riser in this Draft, the question will be how much. Central Scouting had him as a third round pick, but that was before he blew up in the USHL playoffs, so there's a chance he could go even higher. I have him about 50th on my Draft list, which equates to an early third round pick. Somewhere in the third round is the most likely landing spot for Allison, but there's a possibility a team that really likes him could jump up and take him in the second round.
Allison is a true power forward. He'll likely slide over to the wing full-time as a pro with a ceiling as a second or third line winger that plays a hard, gritty game and chips in some offense with his toughness around the net. He'll head to Western Michigan next season where he can play up to four seasons before heading to the pros. Allison will likely play two or three years of college before signing a pro contract.