Will the Second Overall Pick Please Stand Up? A Closer Look at Flyers Nico & Nolan Dilemma

Nolan Patrick
WHL (Western Hockey League) player profile photo on Brandon Wheat Kings’ Nolan Patrick at a game against the Calgary Hitmen in Calgary, Alberta on Feb. 22, 2017. (Larry MacDougal via AP)

We interrupt this regularly scheduled TV Program with a major announcement. The Philadelphia Flyers have the second pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Again the Flyers have the second pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. The million dollar question throughout the Philadelphia region these days is who are the Flyers going to select with the second overall pick? Is it going to be Nico Hischier or Nolan Patrick?

Well the true answer is nobody knows, as the New Jersey Devils have the first overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. However, it is never too old to break down both of these young rockstar prospects, and give a hint of speculation as to who the Flyers will select with the second overall pick.


Nico Hischier
Hischier was born January 4, 1999, in Naters, Switzerland. His passion and love for the sport of hockey led him to the Halifax Mooseheads in the QMJHL. He was selected 6th overall by the Mooseheads in 2016.

In just his first season with the Mooseheads, Hischier finished second on the team in points with 86. For the season he tallied 38 goals, and 48 assists in 57 games played. In addition, he was awarded the RDS Cup for rookie of the year in the QMJHL, as he led all rookies in goals and points.

The 18 year old Moosehead product, Hischier comes from a family of athletes. His father Rino played football for the FC Naters, and his mother Katja was a sports teacher. There were no rinks where they lived in Naters, so his mother took Hischier to Visp to learn how to skate and the sport of hockey.

Hischier has grown into the type of hockey player any team would covet. If one has seen him play, then they would instantly notice a mature, super composed young prospect on the ice. His hockey IQ is off the charts, and his hands are a pair of beauties.

According to the NHL Central Scouting Bureau, Hischier is ranked as the second best North American skater. He has tremendous offensive talent, with a lot of upside. Hischier will definitely be the first or second overall pick at the 2017 NHL Draft.


Nolan Patrick
Patrick was born September 9, 1998, in Winnipeg, MB, CAN. He started ice skating at a young age and instantly fell in love with the sport of hockey. He eventually found his groove playing for the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL. Patrick had a coming out party for them in the 2015-16 season amassing 41 goals, and 61 assists for a total of 102 points in 72 games played.  He finished fifth in the league in scoring, and was the first 17 year old Wheat King to eclipse the 100 point plateau since 1976-77.

After the season it was revealed that Patrick suffered a sports hernia injury towards the latter part of April. However, Patrick played through the injury in the WHL Finals, and the 2016 Memorial Cup. At the completion of the Memorial Cup he did receive the sports hernia surgery.

Just six games into the 2016-17 season, Patrick suffered yet another set back. He suffered a complication of his previous season’s sports hernia injury.  The injury continued through the months of November, December, and January. However, Patrick finally returned to the ice for the Brandon Wheat Kings in February. He had a solid season totalling 20 goals, and 26 assists for a total of 46 points in 33 games played. Patrick just has a knack of knowing where to be and where.

The young phenom comes from two athletic families. His father Stephen Patrick played 250 games in the NHL, and his uncle James Patrick is a former NHL Defenseman. James Patrick was also an assistant coach for the Dallas Stars. Patrick’s mother played volleyball for the University of Winnipeg Wesmen, and his two sisters also play hockey. One sister plays for the University of British Columbia, and the other plays minor bantam in Winnipeg.

According to NHL Central Scouting, despite missing the majority of the season, Patrick still ranks as the number one North American skater. The Flyers could benefit from a natural goal scorer in Patrick, so there is no doubt he becomes a Flyer with the second overall pick if he’s still on the board. He has good hands, and knows how to pass the puck. Patrick has become a solid two way player at his young age, and there is little doubt he will be a mainstay in the NHL.

Arguments why the Devils would take Hischier-
Hischier has a slight edge in his shot, and his puck handling is better. Moreover, Patrick’s injury history is an area of concern.


Arguments why Devils would take Patrick
Patrick has a very minimal edge in skating, and he is a more physical player.

Make no mistake about it the Flyers are getting a stud either way with the second overall pick. We can make arguments for both of these fine prospects. However, all that really matters is that this pick will help the Flyers rebuild tremendously. The future is bright in Flyer land. I will leave the readers with this question. There is a little chance the Devils shock everyone and take a defenseman. Then who would the Flyers draft Nico or Nolan at number two?

Follow me on Twitter @JameyBaskow for all Flyers updates.


Mandatory Photo Credit: Larry MacDougal via AP