Ryan McAllister should be a top NCAA free agent option for the Edmonton Oilers
8 months ago
Ryan McAllister has lit the NCAA world on fire this season. In his first season with the University of Western Michigan, McAllister scored 13 goals and 49 points as a freshman in 39 games played – the sixth most points in college.
Unfortunately for him, Western Michigan’s season came to an end on Thursday falling 5-1 to Boston University in round one of the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship. With that McAllister becomes one of the hottest NCAA free agent names on the market. His NHL rights do not live with any NHL franchise, which could make him an option for the Edmonton Oilers. Typically, undrafted players do not level college after their freshman campaigns; however, McAllister is a unique case.
McAllister spent his junior days playing in Alberta. For almost three seasons between 2019-20 and 2021-22, he was a member of the Brooks Bandits winning the AJHL and a CJHL National Championship in his final season. McAllister scored 57 goals and 139 points in 60 games last year — the most since 1998 when Mike Comrie scored 60 goals and 138 points in 58 games with the St. Albert Saints.
Should the Oilers be interested in McAllister? You bet your bottom dollar that they should.
McAllister is a 21-year-old left winger, which is a position in the Oilers do have some talent. In the NHL, Evander Kane and Zach Hyman hold down the top six roles. Down on the farm, Dylan Holloway is their best prospect with Carter Savoie and James Hamblin sitting behind him. Maxim Beryozkin, who is having an excellent season in the KHL, and Matvey Petrov are two other wingers that can play on either side. With that said, it is likely that Holloway is in the NHL full-time next season and Hamblin could possibly join him. That leaves room in Bakersfield to add another scoring winger.
It is intriguing that both Holloway and Savoie played in the AJHL similarly to McAllister. As 18-year-olds in the Alberta League, Holloway fired home 40 goals and 88 points while Savoie scored 50 goals and 99 points. While McAllister did not have the same success at the same as those two, he still managed to at an incredibly high rate in the same league. Then in college, Western Michigan forward statistically outperformed the two of them in one season.
Goals Per Game
Points Per Game
Of course, nobody predicts the future and comparisons can only be taken so far. As Bruce Curlock pointed out on Twitter, teams were clamouring over Spencer Foo a few years ago and he currently plays in the AHL and has four NHL games to his game. However, you would be silly not to take a chance on a talent like this.
Not every player goes from junior to college and continues to produce at a high level, but McAllister has done that. He is a more mature player than what you would find and somebody that could help this team sooner rather than later. Isn’t that what Ken Holland and the Oilers want? Perhaps it won’t be right away but the juice looks to be worth the squeeze.
EXTRA TIME WITH LIAM HORROBIN
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