Nolan Patrick Is Not A Bust … Yet

No one should have expected Nolan Patrick to have an amazing season. After not playing a single NHL game last year, Patrick had a long way to go to get back into fighting shape. He has not looked bad this season, but he also has not looked like the player he was in juniors. I get that the NHL is a different league than WHL, but one would hope that Patrick could at-least show flashes of his former self. Patrick was put on IR at the beginning of last season due to migraines and ended up being sidelined the entire season. If you thought that Patrick would have a breakout season this year, then you would be sadly mistaken. Patrick’s play has been very average this year. But what would you expect for a player who had not played for a year? No one expected Oskar Lindblom, who just battled a rare form of bone cancer, to start playing like Connor McDavid.

Let’s take a look at Nolan Patrick’s year so far. The Flyers have looked pretty terrible this season … I cannot say that Nolan Patrick is a huge reason for that.

Offensive Game

I guess Patrick’s offensive game decided to take a longer time to come back. Even before Patrick missed the 2019-2020 season due to migraines, his offensive game was nothing special. Being drafted in the 2017 draft at #2 overall, one would think that Patrick would be a dominate force in the NHL like many other players who were in his draft class, like Elias Pettersson and Cale Makar.

In his first two seasons with Philadelphia, Patrick failed to crack 20 goals. Now, I would not call Patty a bust by any-means. However, to say that Patrick is a star would be an overstatement. If I were the coach of the Flyers, I would think about sending Patrick down to the minors. Patrick is definitely not the same player he was before having the migraine issue. People love to baby Patrick and hate seeing him be called a bust … he is not a “bust”, but one can definitely say that he has not met the high standards that many held him too. All I think about when I think of Patrick is the story of Nail Yakupov. A young player drafted high in the draft who failed to meet his high expectations. By no means am I saying to give up on Nolan Patrick. Hell, he has only played two full season in the NHL. But, you have to give the guy some help. The best thing for him would be to send him down to the minors for a little while to get back into fighting shape. Having him play on a failing Flyers team is not helping his recovery process.

Defensive Game

One aspect of Patrick’s game that has been pretty good is his defense. Nolan Patrick’s defensive game has been the shining light at the end of the tunnel. While he has struggled to put the puck in the back of the net, Patrick has been very good in his own side of the blue line. Now, would I love for a forward to actually produce goals? Of course. But it does not hurt to have a defensive-minded forward. With that being said, the Flyers need to add some scoring spice to their team. One would think that would be guys like Travis Konecny and maybe Kevin Hayes … but they have been virtually non-existent on the score sheet this year. It can definitely be said that Nolan Patrick’s offensive game has been on a steady decline since his return to play.

For example, just last game, Patrick failed to record a goal after being given two very good opportunities.

I hope that Patrick can get his offensive game going. In the meantime, I think it would be in Patrick’s best interest to send him to the AHL to get his game going.

But what do I know, I’m just a fan.

By: Ryan Meyer (@RyanLMeyer)

Photo Credit: inquirer, broadstreetbuzz, 6abc

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