With the Second Pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft the Philadelphia Flyers Have Selected Nolan Patrick From the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL.
About Nolan Patrick
Whether he was going first or second overall, Patrick’s ability is without question. The 6-foot-2, 198-pound forward has made a name for himself as a legitimate power forward who plays a very solid game. Though he was injured and missed most of the 2016-17 season, his stock didn’t take too big of a hit considering his impressive production prior to and following his return from the injury. Scoring 20 goals and 46 points in 33 games was enough to convince the Flyers to take Patrick, and his 41 goals and 102 points in 72 games in the 2015-16 season weren’t forgotten throughout the entire draft process.
— NHL (@NHL) June 23, 2017
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt:
It seems like only yesterday that Nolan Patrick first stepped onto Junior hockey’s stage. But the Manitoba product has been with the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings for three seasons already. Patrick was impressive as a 16-year-old and has only improved, emerging as one of the WHL’s most impressive and consistent players.
Patrick is a guy that does everything well and nothing poorly. He skates well, with effective acceleration, good top speed and strong mobility. He’s a good 200-foot player, strong both with the puck and away from the puck, though he tends to be most effective in the offensive zone. He’s more of a pass-first player than a shoot-first player, but he doesn’t seem to lean on one single tendency within games – which makes him tough to anticipate in the offensive zone and creates headaches for defenders.
He’s team captain as an 18-year-old and been a take-charge player since he arrived on the scene. He also tends to play better when his team is down – the Wheat Kings got thumped during their Memorial Cup appearance, but Patrick was superb and created a ton of scoring opportunities when his team was trailing. He missed a big chunk of this season due to injury but still has enough of a body of work to stand out among his peers.Another strong point for Patrick is he emerged as an on-ice leader for the Wheaties from a young age. He was a point-per-game player as a 16-year-old rookie. He served as an alternate captain, had 100 points and was the best player on the WHL’s championship team and went to the Memorial Cup as a 17-year-old. He’s team captain as an 18-year-old and been a take-charge player since he arrived on the scene. He also tends to play better when his team is down – the Wheat Kings got thumped during their Memorial Cup appearance, but Patrick was superb and created a ton of scoring opportunities when his team was trailing. He missed a big chunk of this season due to injury,
While Patrick is the consensus best player in the 2017 Draft class, he’s not considered a potential elite player the way similarly-situated players were in previous draft classes. The reason? He’s not bad at anything, but it’s argued that he doesn’t have a single aspect of his game that’s especially dynamic or dominant. He’s really good, but he’s not tearing apart the league mercilessly the way Auston Matthews did the Swiss League or Nathan MacKinnon ripped apart the Quebec League.
In addition, as a late September birthday, Patrick has had the benefit of going through the last few seasons being a few months older than his cohorts which has given him a size and experience advantage. He’s already 6’3″ and close to 200 pounds, which means he can play an NHL-style game already but also might limit his further development – in the sense that he’s closer to his ceiling now than some younger or less-developed players may be.
That said, Patrick plays a very effective, NHL-style game and has since he was 16. He’s the best player in the 2017 draft class and is a good bet to be at worst a very solid NHLer.”
How This Affects the Philadelphia Flyers Plans
Patrick immediately becomes the Flyers top prospect. It likely won’t take him long to make the NHL. In fact, he’ll probably crack the lineup from day one given his skillset which should immediately impact the Flyers plans for the 2017-18 season. Not every prospect has the chance to make their NHL team immediately after being drafted, but the Flyers were lucky when they moved up and earned the opportunity to draft such a talented prospect.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.