PHILADELPHIA, PA—Nolan Patrick, 18, who was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers as the second overall pick at the 2017 NHL Draft, close an entry-level deal with the team on Monday, July 17.
The 6 foot and 2 inch, 198-pound native of Winnipeg, Minnesota underwent abdominal surgery last month while playing for the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL), which caused him to miss 39 games which included those of Brandon’s playoff run. He was unable to play on the ice last week at Philadelphia’s Development Camp (he did participate in activities off the ice).
In his 33 regular-season appearances in 2016-2017, the center, named Brandon’s captain, posted 46 points (20 goals and 26 assists). The previous season, in 72 games, Patrick tallied 102 points (41 goals and 61 assists) and ranked fifth amongst all WHL players. He tied for second on his team in goals (and tied for eighth in the WHL), ranked third in the league with a plus-51 rating, and tied for third in the league in assists.
With 30 points (13 goals and 17 assists) in 21 games, Patrick also led the Wheat Kings to their first Championship in 20 years, after which he was appointed the 2016 MVP. During this time, he played alongside Ivan Provorov, a current blue-liner for the Flyers. During the 2014-2015 season, Patrick, then 16, was named the WHL Rookie of the Year after appearing in 55 games and posting 56 points (30 goals and 26 assists).
Following his operation, doctors informed Patrick that he would be ready to return to the ice in four to six weeks. While at the Development Camp last week, Patrick said:
“This is the first time in a while that I will be completely healthy. My injury was bugging me all season. I will be back on the ice next week and I am excited.”
He shared that if he waited any longer to undergo the surgery, he would have missed two weeks of training camp. Philadelphia’s GM, Ron Hextall, indicated he has a hunch that Patrick will be ready for the start of training camp in September.
Professional ice hockey runs in the Patrick family. Nolan’s father, former right winger Steve Patrick, also played for the Wheat Kings from 1979-1981. He was a first-round selection by the Buffalo Sabres in 1980, for whom he played from 1980-1985, splitting time between the Sabres and the Rochester Americans of the AHL. He later played for the New York Rangers for the 1984-1985 (during which he continued to play for the Sabres) and 1985-1986 seasons, the latter of which he divided playing time between the Rangers and the Quebec Nordiques.
Patrick’s uncle, former defenseman James Patrick, was selected by the Rangers as a ninth overall pick in 1981. He spent 20 years in the NHL (1984-2004). He played for the Rangers (1983-1994), Hartford Whalers (1993-94), Calgary Flames (1994-1998), and the Sabres (1998-2004).