Three players the Flyers should target in a Nolan Patrick trade

NHL: MAR 24 Jets at Canucks
VANCOUVER, BC – MARCH 24: Vancouver Canucks Center Adam Gaudette (96) bounces the puck on his stick while warming up to play the Winnipeg Jets during their NHL game at Rogers Arena on March 24, 2021 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire)

Previously, we discussed three unrestricted free agents to replace Nolan Patrick Could the Philadelphia Flyers trade Patrick instead?

Read the room. The opinion to move Nolan Patrick away from the Philadelphia Flyers seems popular. Whether accomplished by trade or not extending his contract, some have called it a day on the former first-round pick. Before the 2020-2021 season, sending Patrick away would be jumping the gun. Now, keeping Patrick could mean the Flyers have too much patience.

Another option is the possibility the Seattle Kraken strike a deal for Patrick. A restricted free agent this season, Philadelphia could include Patrick as a bargaining chip in a deal to protect an additional player. Or, Ron Francis could show more faith than the Flyers in Patrick, making him the selected player for the roster. Either way, Patrick could wind up in Seattle if Philadelphia doesn’t provide a qualifying offer.

Without Patrick, the Flyers have Tanner Laczynski, Jackson Cates, Morgan Frost, or Andy Andreoff to take on the fourth line. Of those four, Laczynski may be the best equipped to step up. Before getting injured, Frost was to become the depth spark.

Patience is a virtue for a struggling young goaltender. The difference is Patrick is no longer considered a franchise player like Carter Hart.

Casey Mittelstadt

Nolan Patrick, drafted six spots ahead of Casey Mittelstadt in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, could wind up with the Buffalo Sabres. The Philadelphia Flyers would have to help the Sabres rebuild with their trade package for Mittelstadt. An offer for Mittelstadt would include Patrick, a 2021 first-round pick, and maybe Morgan Frost.

When Patrick has a regular offseason at his disposal, he’s better than Mittelstadt. For both players, 2017-2019 includes the only stretch where each player had a traditional offseason. In those two seasons, Patrick scored 31 more points, succeeded at the faceoff dot, and was equally valuable on the powerplay. Heading into 2021-2022, Patrick will adjust with a typical offseason schedule.

But, what have you done for me lately? That’s the trade mantra. Mittelstadt is coming off his best NHL season while Patrick played his worst. That’s why a first-round draft pick has to go to Buffalo. Adding Frost to the package allows the Sabres to play Patrick at right-wing, creating an entire forward line to be built in one trade.

Mittelstadt will be a restricted free agent, which points towards a pay increase. In Buffalo, he would receive more money.

For what the Sabres will likely pay Mittelstadt, they could rebuild three positions with this trade.

Adam Gaudette

Nolan Patrick is two years younger than Adam Gaudette. Already, the Chicago Blackhawks would be on the timely side of potential. In the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Gaudette was a fifth-round pick.

For context, Patrick and Gaudette had a similar 2020-2021 season. Neither lit the world on fire with their scoring and were equally effective on the powerplay. Patrick is more physical and wins more faceoffs, but Gaudette forces more turnovers on defense. It’s an even trade.

Last season, Gaudette performed his best with the Vancouver Canucks. His career-best statistics are almost identical to Patrick in 2018-2019.

A straight-up trade between these two clubs acts as a parallel move. No one receives a better asset, but Patrick can also play right wing. If the Philadelphia Flyers are ready to move on from Patrick, they’re essentially getting the same value out of a former fifth-round pick. Gaudette wouldn’t cost more than $1mil in 2020-2021. Patrick would be a bargain for Chicago too.

A change of scenery is huge for Patrick, who can play freely with the Blackhawks without the weight of expectation after only trading Gaudette.

Tyson Jost

It’s likely the Colorado Avalanche holds Tyson Jost in high regard. The Seattle Kraken know that too. If the Avalanche doesn’t protect Jost, they risk losing him for nothing at all.

Instead, could the Philadelphia Flyers angle their way into a trade for Jost? Colorado could rebuild an entire forward line just like the Buffalo Sabres could.

In this trade package for Jost, the Flyers could include Nolan Patrick, Tanner Laczynski, and a first-round draft pick.

With this trade package, the Avalanche gets help at the faceoff circle while staying physical on the forecheck. Patrick hasn’t ever dipped under 50% at the faceoff dot. In a handful of games, Laczynski trends as a physical forward with a plus-one rating. Colorado can use the first-round pick to find a goal scorer or playmaker.

The Avalanche present a style of play vastly evolved than Philadelphia’s. Patrick could unlock his career-best numbers in Colorado. The risk-reward incentive is there for the Avalanche, especially when the 2021 offseason returns to usual timeframes. Gaining draft capital in a first-round pick is the icing on the cake. For the right player and deal, Patrick has trade value.