It’s been an interesting year for Nolan Patrick. Many players within the hockey community spent significant time away from the rink, with most being forced to stay off the ice for the longest period of time they have experienced since taking summers off as youth hockey players. Patrick, unfortunately, did not miss hockey solely due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, but due to his chronic migraine disorder, which was officially diagnosed last September.
The 22-year-old missed the entire 2019-20 season following his move to the injured reserve in training camp of last season. Although continually striving towards taking steps to his return to the ice, COVID did set the former second overall draft pick (2017) back. After re-joining his teammates for practices in February, Patrick was forced to return home during beginning stages of the pandemic – poor timing for the former Brandon Wheat Kings star.
Late this past week, Patrick accepted the Philadelphia Flyers’ one-year qualifying offer, which features a cap hit of $847,125. That number is 105 percent of what he earned on his previous deal – as mandated by the league’s collective bargaining agreement. Despite an unusual route, the injured Patrick did not have much to argue, should he have decided to go the salary arbitration route.
The former Winnipeg Hawks U-14 and U-15 standout, first made a name for himself as a 15-year-old with the U-18 Winnipeg Thrashers, where he 36 goals and 73 points in 47 total games in 2013-14, before joining Kelly McCrimmon’s Wheat Kings the following season in Brandon. He clicked right away, producing at a point-per-game in his rookie season, before totalling 54 goals and 132 points in 93 total games en route to the WHL championship in 2015-16. Then named as team captain, Patrick put up 20 goals and 46 points in 33 games in his final year of junior.
Playing in 73 NHL contests in his first year as one of the Flyers’ centremen, the Winnipeg product register 13 goals and 30 points and added a goal and an assist in six playoff games. With Philadelphia failing to make the postseason the following year, Patrick collected another 13 goals and 31 points in one less game in his second season. The 22-year-old has since been skating in and around Winnipeg and Brandon, while also training with former Wheat Kings teammates and Roblin product Jayce Hawryluk.