Ray Allison

The 1979 NHL Amateur Draft was one of the strongest drafts in NHL history, with almost every first round pick going on the enjoy lengthy careers as above average NHL players.

One player who did not hit the mark was Ray Allison, the Hartford Whalers' first ever NHL draft selection at #18.

It would be unfair to say Ray Allison was a NHL draft bust. After all he did participate in 238 NHL contests and scored 64 goals and 157 points. Ask any scout and they'll tell you his career counts as a success from their point of view. He certainly played more games than most players who were ever drafted.

But expectations were high. He came out of the Brandon Wheat Kings organization where he starred on a line with Brian Propp and first Bill Derlago and then Laurie Boschman. In his last two years in Brandon he played in 133 games and scored 134 goals, 178 assists and 313 points, all while accumulating 443 minutes in penalties. Couple those lofty totals and the play of his fellow draft classmen, and you can see why fans in Hartford were expecting more.

Ray would make the jump to the NHL immediately in 1979-80, but he would have a disappointing year. He scored 16 goals and 28 points in 64 games in an era when the top rookies were producing a point per game or even better. The Whalers decided he needed more seasoning, and demoted him in the minors for his sophomore campaign.

By the summer of 1981 Allison was included in a huge trade with Philadelphia which saw both teams exchange draft picks and prospects in order to lure Rick MacLeish out of Philly.

Allison would play the next three seasons in Philadelphia. At times he was reunited with Brian Propp. In 1981-82 he scored over a point a game with 54 points in 51 games while playing with Propp and Ron Flockhart on the "Hi-Speed Line," although on the first day of training camp a serious cut to his elbow got infected, cost him his training camp and contributed to a slow start.

He looked primed to exploded the following year, as he led all Flyers in scoring during the training camp exhibition schedule. He would register his best NHL campaign with 21 goals and 51 points in 67 games, and registered an impressive +30.

The 1983-84 season was nothing short of disastrous for Allison. He got off to a slow start, and then severely broke his left ankle when he crashed into a goal post during a Boxing Day game in Washington. He missed most of the rest of the season, and was never the same player after that.

Allison would only play in 13 NHL contests beyond that season. He tried to make it back with years in the minor leagues while also playing in Switzerland. It was to no avail. He retired in 1990.


k saccary,  5:58 PM  

Rays the reason I am an always will be a philly fan ever since I met him at a wedding in brandon ;-)

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP