With the first round of the Flyers 2017 NHL Draft now complete. It was music to the ears of Flyers fans to hear the words of the General Manager of the Flyers Ron Hextall state, “With the second pick in the 2017 NHL Draft the Philadelphia Flyers select Nolan Patrick from the Brandon Wheat Kings.” To hear the Flyers fans go crazy with “Let’s Go Flyers,” chants in Chicago, it has to send chills down your spine. The proud orange clad Philly fans did not disappoint, so now we can let the dance party begin.
It should come as no shock that the Flyers have selected Patrick from the Brandon Wheat Kings. There was much speculation for weeks who the Flyers would take with the second pick. It was either going to be Nico Hischier or Patrick, whomever the New Jersey Devils didn’t select. In addition, Flyers nation started hearing the possibility of the Flyers trading the second pick after the expansion draft. We can put that all to rest now, and here’s why the Flyers selected Patrick as the next piece of their franchise that they can build around.
Patrick was born September 9, 1998, in Winnipeg, MB, CAN. Like most kids in the Winnipeg area, he started ice skating at a young age and instantly fell in love with the sport of hockey. Patrick eventually found his groove playing for the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL. He enjoyed a stellar 2015-16 season amassing 41 goals, and 61 assists for a total of 102 points in 72 games played. This was good for fifth in the league in scoring, and Patrick became 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 registering 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.
Hockey runs throughout Patrick’s blood. His dad and uncle played professional hockey, and he just wants to follow in their foot steps. Patrick tries to mold his game after his dad and uncle. Apparently skating is not only a natural thing for the Winnipeg area, but it helped Patrick fall in love with the sport of hockey, much like his family did.
The 18 year old phenom, Patrick is a natural goal scorer who has good hands. He knows how to pass the puck, and Patrick has become a solid two-way player at his young age. His hockey IQ, and vision for the ice ranks off the charts. There is little doubt he will be a mainstay in the NHL.
Hopefully the Flyers will benefit from a natural goal scorer in Patrick. This selection is a great start for the Flyers in their rebuild process. The proud orange clad fans deserve this selection. They have supported this team throughout the Flyers duration in the NHL, and it’s time they start to reap some benefits. One thing is certain Flyers fans, the future is bright in Flyer land.
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(Mandatory Photo Credit: Larry MacDougal via AP)