Nolan Patrick’s NHL career to this point has been one that brings discussion at every turn. When healthy, the 21-year-old has shown flashes of the greatness he was lauded to have prior to being taken with the second overall pick in 2017. The problem has been getting and staying on the ice though and after a strong 2018-19 campaign, many were expecting a breakout. What arrived, however, was more heartbreak.
Back on September 26th, it was announced that Patrick had been diagnosed with a migraine disorder and despite positive steps forward behind the scenes, he was unable to return to the ice for the 2020 playoffs.
He’s played in 145 games as a Flyer and in that time has amassed 26 goals, 35 assists, combining for 61 total points.
Flyers teammates were asked about Nolan Patrick’s progress and wellbeing in a string of press conferences this past week, offering support and updates on his battle.
James Van Riemsdyk
As far as for Patty, coming in at 18 is something that not many guys are able to do. That already speaks a role of him as a player. He was taking steps forward. He’s only going to continue to get better. Right now, taking care of his health is his biggest priority. From there, I think he will really be able to spread his wings. He’s got that confidence now of having a few seasons under his belt. Dealing with this adversity, he’s going to come out on the other side just ready to hit the ground running. I have confidence in him for when he is able to get back and get in the mix here, he’s going to do special things in his career. I am excited to see that whole process come together for him.
I think at the end of the day, and I say it a lot, but you have to have to work hard, try and get better at your game. A lot of times in the summer, you try do little things to help you during the year and take that into the year. Everyone knows how good Patty is. I don’t think there’s any doubt in that. He’s going to be a good player for a long time. At the end of the day, coming back into a situation like this when you haven’t played in a while, his health is more important, especially with how young he is and how good of a player he is. He’ll bounce back. We’ve been in a little bit of contact. I’m confident in his game and the way he’s progressing.
Assistant Coach Mike Yeo
I think every player coming into the league is put in different situations, whether you’re a first round pick or fifth, sixth, seventh round pick, you’ve been invited. You go through some up and downs as a young player, I think it’s a part of learning, part of adapting to the NHL. Most players when you come out of junior and you’re drafted you’re a dominant offensive player and then you come to the NHL, it’s the best of the best. You have to adapt and find your game, but it’s no different for any player. Some guys it takes a little longer than others. I think it’s important to be strong mentally and know yourself. Trust your skills. You know what you can do. I think Nolan still has a really bright future. He’s a really skilled player. We can’t wait to have him back with us.
Patrick’s health and wellbeing is clearly the focus of the team right now. While it’s easy to look towards the 2021 season as a potential returning point, it’s important to remember the severity of the condition and how young Patrick still is. There’s a lot of Meat left on the bone of his NHL career, so taking a breath and allowing the Canadian to progress at his own pace is absolutely fine. With the support of his Flyers teammates and his fans, he’ll be in the best spot possible to do exactly that.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports