The Philadelphia Flyers’ prospect pipeline may not be as deep as it once was, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any talent left. There are three names rising to the top of the current crop of youngsters, being wingers Wade Allison and Tyson Foerster and center Tanner Laczynski. All three have gone through their respective injury struggles during their careers and so far has limited their run at the professional level, but the flashes of talent they show when on the ice hints that it may be worth waiting out the injury setbacks.
With a full offseason to gather themselves and start fresh next season, maybe all the bad luck gets left in the past and a phoenix rises from their collective ashes to form a formidable trio that could propel the Flyers to success in 2022-23.
20-year-old 2020 first round pick Tyson Foerster’s professional season ended after just nine games thanks to a shoulder injury, but as one of the kids who was eligible for the American Hockey League in 2020 because the pandemic shutdown the OHL season, his 33 games of experience in Lehigh Valley over the last two years should give him an edge when it comes to making the full time jump next season.
He returned to his junior team when he was cleared to return from surgery and has posted four goals and six points in six games, so far proving the injury won’t hold him back moving forward. Foerster will be a full-time pro next season, and may get a real look in training camp and if he can impress the Flyers’ brass, maybe an NHL gig right out of the gate.
Wade Allison, now 24 years old, has spent the season recovering from multiple different injuries, which has stalled any momentum he has shown when healthy. After a college career at Western Michigan, he has had success at both the AHL and NHL level, albeit in small sample sizes, posting nine points in 10 AHL games last season, and current has eight goals and 14 points in 16 games so far this season. He’s got four goals and seven points in 15 NHL games over the last two years.
Allison could be a missing link for the Flyers both on and off the ice. His determination and work eithic on the ice has seemingly bred a future goalscorer and his easy-going, fun-loving personality off the ice may be just the presence the team desperately needs in a doom and gloom locker room. His energy and charisma are off the charts, a personality that may not be matched by anyone in Philly. He has the potential to be the total package.
Now that he has two good hips, Tanner Laczynski can finally get his career back on track. The 24-year-old missed part of last season and most of this season after undergoing surgery on both hips. The former Ohio State standout was the Flyers’ sixth round pick in 2016. He had six goals and 10 points in 14 AHL contests in 2020-21 and five goals and 13 points in 18 AHL games this season.
Because Laczynski’s injuries have eaten up so much of his professional ice time, his ceiling is still relatively murky. He seems to be more than responsible enough to hold down the fort defensively, and creative enough to spark a bit of offense when given the chance. There’s no reason to think he won’t get a look at the NHL level next season, especially since he’s one of the only true center prospects in the entire organization.
While the three have not played on a line yet, they have been together on the same team for brief moments, with Laczynski and Allison have been line mates for a handful of games in 2021. Both Foerster and Allison are right wings, but it’s not uncommon to see either float to left wing from time to time, especially Foerster, who has taken residency in the left circle on the powerplay with an Alex Ovechkin-esque shot.
Wade Allison, Tanner Laczynksi and Tyson Foerster all contain the talent to have successful NHL careers in front of them. It’s about overcoming the injury stigma and getting back on the track to success, and the success would be that much sweeter if they could come up together, making their mark as a collective unit, defining a new era in Philadelphia Flyers hockey.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: espn.com